Iceland halted the use of the Moderna vaccine against the CCP virus on Oct. 8 following reports from Nordic countries of “increased incidence” of inflammation of heart muscle and tissues triggered by the injection.
Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway had already limited the use of the Moderna vaccine within their respective borders over the same concerns. Iceland went further than its neighbors and stopped using 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),” a statement from Iceland’s Directorate of Health reads.
“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 vaccine 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 heart-related 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 hospitals may be needed in established cases.”
Norway and Denmark have recommended the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 17. In Iceland, only the Pfizer vaccine has been recommended for the 12-to-17 age group.
Iceland had been using the Moderna vaccine almost exclusively as a booster shot for those who have 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.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 75 percent of Iceland’s population has been fully vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. A total of 33 people have died from COVID-19 in Iceland since the beginning of the pandemic.
Jack Phillips and Lorenz Duchamps contributed to this report.