The bad news for Moderna just keeps coming.
In the wake of a weak earnings report that sent Moderna shares cratering last week, French health authorities have just released a new advisory recommending that people under 30 don’t get the Moderna vaccine, recommending that they choose the Pfizer-BioNTech jab instead.
The decision draws on recently released data showing that the risk of heart inflammation from Pfizer’s jab “appears to be around five times lesser…compared to Modera’s spikevax jab”, per an opinion published by the HAS.
Cases of myocarditis mostly manifest within 7 days of vaccination, typically after the second dose has been given. Most patients who experience side effects are typically men under the age of 30, according to the HAS, which cited research studies.
HAS acts as an advisor to the French health sector but it doesn’t have the power to ban medicines or vaccines. The recommendation will apply to first and second doses, as well as a any “booster shot” doses available while the agency awaits additional data.
For French men and women aged 30 and over, however, HAS says it sees no problem with administering Moderna’s Spikevax in this group, stating that its efficacy was slightly higher than Pfizer-BioNTech’s jab.
Last month saw a handful of Nordic nations place varying restrictions on Moderna’s vaccine.
Tiny Iceland, meanwhile, has banned the Moderna jab from being used across the entire population.
Initially. Stockholm announced it would pause the use of Moderna for all of its population born in 1991 or after.
Helsinki followed suit, but halted the jabs for young, male Finns only based on a study involving Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden which found that men under 30 had a slightly higher risk of developing heart inflammation. Oslo also suggested that young Norwegian men should consider choosing Comirnaty, the Pfizer jab, over Moderna’s or any of the other options.
The EMA, the EU’s medical watchdog, has acknowledged that inflammatory conditions like myocarditis and pericarditis, two different types of heart inflammation, should be added to a list of rare side effects from the vaccines that could be potentially harmful.