Sweden, Finland and Denmark have all stopped the Moderna vaccine for under 30-year-olds. Will that also happen in Germany?
In addition to Biontech, Moderna’s vaccine was considered the most effective and safest of the Covid-19 vaccines. Until now.
So far, 12,836,080 vials of Moderna have been delivered to Germany
Data suggest an increase in inflammation of the heart muscle and pericardium (myocarditis and pericarditis) in adolescents and young adults after vaccination. The Swedish health authority announced on Wednesday.
The consequence: In Sweden, Denmark and Finland, younger people will no longer be immunized with it from now on. In Denmark the rule applies to everyone under the age of 18, in Sweden to everyone under 30 and in Finland to men under 30. The whole thing is considered a provisional security measure, limited in Sweden until December 1st.
The authorities stress in the same breath that the risk of these side effects is very low.
Can such a vaccination stop also happen in Germany? How often do we experience these side effects and how dangerous is it?
The problem of myocarditis is well known
As early as July there was a so-called Rote-Hand-Brief informing about the rare side effects after an mRNA vaccination. A Rote-Hand-Brief informs doctors in Germany about drug recalls or about special risks.
Because: There have been worldwide cases of heart problems after mRNA vaccinations, which mainly occurred in people under 30 years of age. Also in Germany.
The first cases were reported from Israel and then from the United States. Most of the time, they appeared within 14 days of vaccination. In almost all cases, the symptoms subsided after a few days, and those affected recovered quickly.
The side effects have been observed more frequently in men under 30 years of age after the second dose. Mostly after a vaccination with Biontech. However, moderna vaccination rates were much lower at the time. At Biontech, too, the side effects were only noticed when more and more people were immunized with it.
Inflammation of the heart muscle or pericardium:
Viruses cause around 50 percent of myocarditis or pericarditis. Often an infection, such as a severe cold, precedes it.
Symptoms: chest pain that sometimes gets worse when you breathe, palpitations or stumbling of the heart, breathlessness, shortness of breath, weakness or tiredness.
According to statistical studies, 3500 patients with severe myocarditis are treated in a clinic in Germany every year.
Authorities only gave the all-clear in the summer
EMA and PEI evaluated the data and came to the conclusion that the benefits of vaccination still outweigh all risks. The incidents are very rare. This also applies to young people.
▶ ︎ The reason: People who become infected with the virus are at a much higher risk of developing myocarditis.
This also applies to young people between the ages of 12 and 17. This comes from an analysis of US health data. The risk was six times higher in boys and 20 times higher in girls than after a vaccination. An analysis by the largest health insurer in Israel, which was published in the “New England Journal of Medicine” , comes to a similar conclusion.
New data show that the risk at Moderna is still increased
However, referring only to the vaccines, the risk of developing myocarditis or pericarditis seems to be slightly higher with Moderna compared to other vaccines.
Figures from the Canadian health authorities clearly show: After the second dose of Moderna, there is an increase in cases, especially in 18 to 24-year-old men. Here there are an average of 263 reports of heart problems per million vaccinations, at Biontech there are only 37.
In other words, up to three people out of 100,000 people vaccinated could be affected by this side effect.
In other age groups the rate is significantly lower, but here too the risk after a Moderna vaccination is apparently somewhat higher. There are 28 cases at Moderna, nine at Biontech.
Consequences for Germany?
So far, no conclusions have been drawn. Like all reported side effects, the cases will continue to be closely monitored by the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI). The latest safety report includes all data up to August 31st. There is only a minimal tendency to be seen there.
In 18 to 29 year olds, an average of
4.6 people are affected by heart-specific side effects after vaccination with Moderna . At Biontech, the average is 4.28.
48 cases were recorded in the apparently particularly endangered group of male 18 to 29 year olds, based on Moderna. To date, women have not been affected.
The current PEI safety report is expected in the next few days.
A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) told BILD: “The PEI continuously evaluates all reported side effects of the Covid vaccines and also takes into account the current study results and the reaction of other countries to new developments. In addition, in view of the reports, the BMG asked the PEI for an up-to-date assessment at short notice. “
Is the dosage to blame?
“Since myocarditis is so rare with the mRNA vaccines, it stands to reason that it is a false reaction of the immune system, which in these rare cases also reacts against myocardial cells inadvertently when it reacts to the vaccine,” suspects the immunologist Prof . Dr. Andreas Radbruch.
“Through exertion, for example physical activity, the heart is then stressed and the inflammation is more noticeable and may be made worse. That is why young men are particularly affected. ”The same process is also responsible for the fact that heart muscle inflammation is not uncommon when infections are caused by viruses or other pathogens.
Why are there more cases at Moderna?
It is not yet clear why Moderna is triggering the cases. There is one guess, however.
Prof. Radbruch emphasizes that it is known that Moderna, probably because of the higher dosage, trigger stronger immune reactions.
“The stronger the immune reaction, the higher the probability of an associated false reaction. This is of course an assessment, there are no precise data. And the wrong reactions are very rare, it remains to be seen whether the differences will actually remain significant if you look more closely in more countries. “
The advice of the immunologist for vaccinated people: Take care after the vaccination and do not do too much sport in the days afterwards. Just like you should do with an infection.