France joined several European countries by advising people 30 years old and younger to not receive the Moderna vaccine.
The announcement follows a nationwide study that confirmed the connection between cardiac inflammation and the mRNA vaccine.
Epi-Phare, an independent medicines safety research group, conducted the study. In its findings, the research group found that the risk is particularly prevalent among men under the age of 30 after they received the second dose of Moderna. The company’s vaccine was linked to at least 132 cases of myocarditis per million doses given.
Pfizer was linked to 27 cases of myocarditis per million doses given, 80% less than its competitor.
The risk of pericarditis associated with the Moderna vaccine was also confirmed, with 18 cases per million doses given.
In its report, Epi-Phare said the cases were rare and that the vaccines were still effective against COVID-19.
Finland banned the administration of Moderna’s COVID-19 shots to people born after 1991 in early October following reports of cardiac inflammation.
The country’s National Institue of Health and Welfare said it was part of a “precautionary principle.”
Sweden made a similar decision, saying “The connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna’s vaccine Spikevax, especially after the second dose.”
The nation had also documented that men and boys were at a higher risk of developing the side effect after receiving their second dose.
Similar recommendations were made by Denmark and Norway, which advised people in the affected age group to get the Pfizer vaccine instead.
“The US has also delayed approval of the Moderna jab for young people, though last week they recommended the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages five to 11 after reviewing the risks of myocarditis,” notes AFP.
Although France’s independent regulator, the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS), had previously recommended both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for booster shots, it reversed its decision in a statement on Oct. 15. It recommends only using Pfizer for third doses.
“The announcements from various health authorities have brought to light the unknowns which remain around the dose and target population for the Spikevax (Moderna) booster jab, and justify waiting for the European authority to provide clarification concerning regulatory approval currently under examination,” the HAS said in a press release.