A 'precautionary' measure. The Swedish Public Health Agency announces in a statement on 6 October the suspension of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for anyone born in 1991 or later. Sweden's chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell says:
We are following the situation closely and acting quickly to ensure that vaccinations against COVID-19 are always as safe as possible, and at the same time offer effective protection against the disease.
Risk of side effects?
But why such a decision? According to the press release, the American company's Spikevax vaccine could increase the risk of side effects such as inflammation of the heart muscle, i.e. myocarditis. The agency also measures its information, explaining that this is a 'very low' risk.
The people concerned are those under 30 years of age. Research shows that the risk is greatest with the second injection, with the appearance of symptoms during the two weeks that follow.
A temporary decision
This is a suspension, and there is nothing definitive about this decision. It is valid at least until 1 December. In the meantime, the agency has taken the opportunity to remind people of the symptoms of myocarditis, namely fatigue and shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat and palpitations, and fever.
According to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Sweden has recorded more than 1 150 000 cases of the disease and more than 14 000 deaths.