(LifeSiteNews) – Sweden took further action against Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine last week and Norway halted all second COVID jab doses for adolescents amid heightened concerns among European countries of heart inflammation related to vaccination.
On Thursday, Sweden extended a pause on the Moderna Spikevax vaccine issued earlier this month, citing a recent Nordic study that found an elevated risk of heart inflammation in young people given the shot.
Sweden’s Public Health Agency said in a statement that the jab would be indefinitely suspended for individuals under age 31. The agency had previously planned to lift the moratorium on December 1.
“The background to the decision to pause the use of Spikevax for people born in 1991 and later signals an increased risk of myocarditis and pericarditis,” the Public Health Agency said Thursday.
The following day, Norway’s top health agency announced that it would not recommend a second dose of any COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents between ages 12-15 before additional investigation.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said in a press release that there is “no basis” for offering a second dose to adolescents and noted that coronavirus poses a low risk of serious illness for young people.
“A second vaccine dose is also linked with a higher risk of pericarditis and myocarditis (inflammation of the pericardium and myocardium), especially among young men and boys,” NIPH said. “At the beginning of 2022, [NIPH] will make new assessments with updated knowledge about serious side effects, disease development and the overall situation before a recommendation is given for dose two for this age group.”
Norway has recommended only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for minors so far, according to Reuters. Around 70 percent of Norwegian adolescents age 12-15 have been injected with at least one COVID-19 jab.
An unpublished study conducted by health authorities of Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark prompted all four countries and Iceland to recommend against or suspend the Moderna vaccine for younger age groups three weeks ago.
The Swedish Public Health Agency said at the time that the new data indicates “an increased risk of side effects such as inflammation of the heart muscle or the pericardium,” especially after a second dose of Spikevax.
Other European countries, including France, have since joined the Scandinavian nations taking action against Moderna, with the French Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) advising against the vaccine for France’s booster shot campaign, The Local reported last week.
“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.
Regulators, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, have repeatedly linked both Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine to heart inflammation.
A statement from the FDA last Wednesday related that “ongoing analyses from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) safety surveillance systems have identified increased risks of inflammatory heart conditions, myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, particularly following the second dose.”
“The observed risk is higher among males under 40 years of age, particularly males 18 through 24, than among females and older males,” the agency said.
The FDA had attached heart inflammation warnings to both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in June, after the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) revealed that it had received more than 1,200 reports of myocarditis or pericarditis after use of either of the two mRNA vaccine.
As of October 20, VAERS, the vaccination injury tracking system co-led by the FDA and the CDC, has received 1,698 reports of heart inflammation among individuals under age 30 after injection with a COVID-19 jab. VAERS has been found to pick up less than 1 percent of all vaccine-related injuries.
Israeli experts have likewise reported “a likelihood of a connection between receiving a second dose” of the Pfizer shot and myocarditis in young men.
The European countries cracking down on Spikevax nevertheless continue to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for young people, despite the similar risks also posed by the latter shot.