Iceland suspended the Moderna anti-COVID vaccine on Friday, citing a minor increase in the risk of heart inflammation, going farther than its Nordic neighbors, which just restricted vaccination use.
“As the supply of Pfizer vaccine is adequate in the area… the chief epidemiologist has chosen not to employ the Moderna vaccine in Iceland,” the Health Directorate stated in a statement published on its website.
This decision was made in response to a “increased incidence of myocarditis and pericarditis following immunization with the Moderna vaccine, as well as vaccination with Pfizer/BioNTech,” the chief epidemiologist stated in a statement.
Iceland has been administering an additional dose of the Moderna vaccine “almost exclusively” to Icelanders vaccinated with Janssen, a single-dose serum marketed by Johnson & Johnson in the United States, as well as to elderly and immunocompromised people who received two doses of another vaccine, for the past two months.
This will have no effect on the island’s vaccination effort, as 88 percent of the people over the age of 12 is already completely vaccinated.
Sweden and Finland have similarly halted the use of the Moderna vaccine, but only for people under the age of 30, due to a risk of myocardial and pericardial inflammation.
Denmark and Norway have issued formal recommendations against use for persons under the age of 18.
According to Swedish authorities, the majority of these inflammations are benign and resolve on their own, but medical help should be sought if symptoms develop.