The use of the Moderna Covid vaccine was halted in Iceland on October 8 due to reports from Nordic countries of “increased incidence” of inflammation of heart muscle and tissues caused by the injection.
Because of the same concerns, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway have already restricted the use of the Moderna vaccine. Iceland went even further than its neighbors, discontinuing use of the vaccine entirely.
“In recent days, there has been data from the Nordic countries on the increased incidence of myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination with Moderna vaccine in addition to vaccination with Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty),” an announcement from Iceland’s Directorate of Health stated.
“As there is a sufficient supply of Pfizer vaccine in Iceland for both the pre-vaccine activation vaccines and the primary vaccinations of those who have not yet been vaccinated, the epidemiologist has decided not to use the Moderna vaccine in Iceland, while providing further information on the safety of the Moderna vaccine.”
Sweden limited the use of the Moderna shot on Oct. 6 to those born before 1991. The Swedish health agency said at the time that new data from Swedish and other Nordic sources “indicate that the connection is especially clear” between Moderna’s vaccine and side effects “especially after the second dose.”
“Both myocarditis and pericarditis often go away on their own, without causing any lasting problems, but suspicious symptoms should be assessed by a doctor at … a health center or emergency room,” the agency stated, noting that “medical treatment and monitoring in hospital may be needed in established cases.”
Norway and Denmark have recommended the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12-17. In Iceland, only the Pfizer vaccine has been recommended for the 12-17 age group.
Finland on Oct. 7 discontinued the use of the Moderna shot for men under the age of 30.
That decision came one day after Sweden and Denmark halted the use of the vaccine for the younger age groups.
Iceland had been using the Moderna vaccine almost exclusively as a booster shot for those who received the Johnson&Johnson vaccine, according to the Health Directorate. The Nordic nation had also been using the Moderna vaccine as a booster for two-dose vaccinations of the elderly and immunocompromised.