The French National Authority for Health (HAS), France’s public health authority, has warned adult men aged 30 or younger to avoid Moderna’s Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine because it is linked to a greater risk of heart disease.
The government agency said adults in the age group should instead opt for the Pfizer vaccine. However, the Pfizer vaccine is also linked to serious health risks.
According to reports, people who received the Pfizer vaccine experienced side effects such as pain around the injection site, delayed allergic reactions, fatigue, headache and muscle pain. The Pfizer vaccine is also linked to severe adverse effects like Bell’s palsy and allergic reactions.
Side effects of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine
Research has found that cases of myocarditis usually manifest at least seven days after receiving Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. HAS reported that in most cases, those who experience side effects are men under the age of 30.
HAS acts as an advisor to the French health sector but it doesn’t have the authority to ban medicines or vaccines. HAS’ recommendation applies to both first and second doses of the Moderna vaccine and any booster shot doses available as it awaits additional data.
In an opinion piece published on Monday, Nov. 8, HAS said that in people 30 and younger, “this risk appears to be around five times lesser with Pfizer’s Comirnaty jab compared to Moderna’s Spikevax jab.”
HAS’ decision in Paris came after regulators in other countries, such as Canada, Finland and Sweden, also warned against the use of Modernas’s Spikevax because of heart-related safety concerns affecting younger people. (Related: Finland halts Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to men aged 30 and below.)
Back in October, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Union’s drug regulator, approved Moderna’s booster vaccine for all age groups over 18, at least six months after the second dose.
Earlier in 2021, the EMA announced that it identified a possible link between the inflammatory heart condition and both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines.
Not surprisingly, the EMA also said that the “benefits” of both mRNA shots in preventing COVID-19 outweigh the risks. The same thing has been said by U.S. regulators and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Countries limit use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine
Other countries are limiting the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in younger people following reports of possible heart health-related side effects.
The Public Health Agency of Canada announced that based on data, reported cases of heart inflammation were higher after Moderna’s vaccine compared with the Pfizer’s vaccine.
Finland delayed the use of Moderna vaccines for younger people, instead giving Pfizer’s vaccine to men born in and after 1991.
Meanwhile, Germany’s vaccine advisory committee has recommended people younger than 30 be vaccinated only with the Pfizer shot since it showed a lower number of heart inflammation cases in younger people compared with the Moderna vaccine.
In October, Sweden extended the postponement of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine beyond the original Dec. 1 deadline for people aged 30 and younger because of the vaccine’s heart-related side effects.
Sweden’s health agency cited data that identified an increase in myocarditis and pericarditis cases among children and young adults vaccinated with Moderna’s Spikevax. Sweden paused the use of the vaccine for those born in 1991 or later.
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