Iceland suspends use of Moderna vaccine until further notice
Eva Deschamps / October 9, 2021
Iceland suspended the Covid vaccine from the American laboratory Moderna on Friday, citing slight increased risks of heart inflammation, going further than its Nordic neighbors who have simply limited its use.
As the supply of Pfizer vaccine is sufficient in the territory, the chief epidemiologist has decided not to use the Moderna vaccine in Iceland, said a statement published on the website of the Health Directorate.
The decision was prompted by the increased incidence of myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination with the Moderna vaccine, in addition to vaccination with Pfizer/BioNTech, the chief epidemiologist said in a statement.
For the past two months, Iceland has been administering an additional dose almost exclusively of Moderna vaccine to Icelanders vaccinated with Janssen, a single-dose serum marketed by the U.S. laboratory Johnson & Johnson, as well as to elderly and immunocompromised people who have received two doses of another vaccine.
This will not affect the vaccination campaign on the vast North Atlantic island of 370,000 people, where 88% of the population over 12 years old is already fully vaccinated.
Since Thursday, Sweden and Finland have also suspended the use of the Moderna vaccine but only for people under 30, and Denmark and Norway have formally advised against it for people under 18, because of a risk of inflammation of the myocardium, the heart muscle, and the pericardium, the membrane covering the heart.
According to the Swedish authorities, most of these inflammations are benign and pass on their own, but medical advice is recommended in case of symptoms.