France has become the highest-population European country to steer citizens away from the Moderna vaccine against the coronavirus, citing the risk of heart inflammation.
France’s top public health authority, the Haute Autorité de Santé, has issued an opinion urging those under 30 to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a Daily Mail article Tuesday that encompassed reporting from that news outlet along with The Associated Press and Reuters.
Based on the population of those eligible to be vaccinated, the strong recommendation in France covers about 11.6 million people.
Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland have either banned or restricted use of the drug for those under 30, while Norway has encouraged those under 30 not to get the Moderna vaccine.
France’s action followed a study from Epi-Phare, an independent group that conducts research on medicine safety, according to France 24.
After looking at all of the cases of citizens aged 12 to 50 who were hospitalized for myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) or pericarditis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart) between May 15 and Aug. 31, the study found an elevated risk within seven days of vaccination from both the Pfizer and Moderna shots.
The risk peaks in men under 30 after the second dose, the study found.
Moderna’s vaccine emerged with a rate of 132 cases of myocarditis per million doses given. Pfizer’s rate was 27 cases per million doses.
In women under 30, Moderna emerged with a rate of 37 cases of myocarditis per million doses. Pericarditis rates were lower, peaking at 18 cases per million doses given in men under 30 for the Moderna vaccine.
Further, it was concerns over the level of myocarditis in young men that led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration putting a hold on Moderna’s hopes to enter the adolescent vaccine market.
Even as France was steering some citizens away from the Moderna vaccine, it was urging others to get some form of vaccination, according to The New York Times.
President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said French citizens over 65 have until Dec. 15 to get a booster shot or face not being able to enter restaurants, museums, trains and various public places.
“Vaccinate yourself so that you can lead a normal life,” Macron said, according to the Times. “Being free in a nation like France entails being responsible and showing solidarity. I’m therefore counting on you.”
Story continues at: France nixes Moderna