Finland becomes the third country, after Sweden and Denmark, to pause the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for younger males over reports of its rare cardiovascular side effects.
In a statement on Thursday, Mika Salminen, director of the Finnish health institute, announced the news, saying that Finland would instead give Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to men born in 1991 and later.
The precautionary decision was made by Helsinki after a Nordic study found that those aged 30 and below had a “slightly higher risk” than others of developing myocarditis.
“A Nordic study involving Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark found that men under the age of 30 who received Moderna Spikevax had a slightly higher risk than others of developing myocarditis,” he said.
Finland currently offers COVID-19 vaccines to people aged 12 and over.
The decision by Finnish authorities came just a day after Swedish and Danish health officials announced that they would halt the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for all young adults and children, citing the same unpublished Nordic study.
Salminen said the study would be published in the next couple of weeks and that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had already received preliminary data for further assessment.
Back in July, the safety committee of the EMA announced that the reported inflammatory heart conditions could be observed in very rare cases after the use of Spikevax or the Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty jab, more often in younger males after the second dose.