Finland became the latest Scandinavian country to impose new restrictions on the use of Moderna's COVID jab, announcing Thursday that it would halt use of the jab for younger males due to the risk of rare but harmful side effects, including heart inflammation.
Following in the footsteps of Sweden and Denmark, the director of Finland's health institute said the country would instead give the Pfizer jab to men born in 1991 or later. Presently, patients age 12 and older can be vaccinated in Finland.
Mika Salminen, the director of Finland's health institute, blamed the new restrictions on data collected in a Nordic study.
"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.
Yesterday, Swedish and Danish health officials announced they would pause the use of the Moderna vaccine for all young adults and children, citing the same as-yet-unpublished unpublished study.
The Finns said the Nordic study would be published within a couple of weeks. Preliminary data has already been sent to the EMA for further assessment. The EMA, which is the pan-EU medicines regulator, determined back in July that rare cases of heart inflammation had been detected in some younger male patients.
Regulators in the US, as well as the WHO, have repeatedly insisted that the risks of the mRNA jabs are far outweighed by their benefits. Moderna executives have stepped up to defend their jab, while Italy's Health Minister Roberto Speranza told reporters on Thursday that Italy wasn't planning to suspend or limit use of the Moderna jab and said European countries should work together more closely to coordinate better.