Sweden’s Public Health Agency made the announcement on Wednesday saying the Moderna Covid vaccine could be linked to increased risk of heart inflammation in young people, in particular young men. “Data point to an increased incidence [of myocarditis and pericarditis, two types of heart inflammation] in connection with vaccination against COVID-19, mainly in adolescents and young adults and mainly in boys and men. For the individual, the risk of being affected is very small, it is a very rare side effect,” the statement read.
It continued: “New preliminary analyses from Swedish and Nordic data sources indicate that the connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna’s vaccine Spikevax, especially after the second dose.
“The increase in risk is seen within four weeks after the vaccination, mainly within the first two weeks.”
Denmark and Finland have since followed suit.
Common symptoms of myocarditis are listed by the British Heart Foundation as:
- a stabbing pain and/or tightness in the chest which may spread across the body
- shortness of breath when lightly exercising or walking
- difficulty breathing when resting
- flu-like symptoms such as a high temperature, tiredness and fatigue
- palpitations or an abnormal heart rhythm.
Pericarditis causes chest pain and a high temperature, says the NHS.
The health body continues: “It’s not usually serious, but it can cause serious health problems. Get medical advice if you have chest pain.”
Under 30s in Sweden who are yet to receive their vaccine are now being recommended the Pfizer vaccine rather than Moderna.
Around 81,000 people in this age group have received one dose of the Moderna vaccine.
The agency has made the decision not to offer them a second dose of the vaccine for the time being.
The Moderna vaccine’s name was changed to Spikevax on June 22 this year and is currently still being offered to people aged 30 and under in the UK.
Like all medicines, experts state the vaccine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Very common side effects include:
- Swelling/tenderness of the underarm glands on the same side as the injection site
- Muscle ache, joint aches, and stiffness
- Pain or swelling at the injection site
- Feeling very tired
But the UK Government also advises to get urgent medical attention if you get any of the following signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction:
- feeling faint or light-headed
- changes in your heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- swelling of your lips, face, tongue or throat
- hives or rash
- nausea or vomiting
- stomach pain
You should also talk to your doctor or nurse if you develop any other side effects.
This includes any possible side effects not listed on the Government website.
If you’re concerned about a side effect it can be reported directly via the Coronavirus Yellow Card reporting site or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store and include the vaccine brand and batch/Lot number if available.