The French National Authority for Health recommends dispensing with the Moderna vaccine in young people.
An independent public scientific body in France, the French National Authority for Health (HAS), recommended on Monday against using Moderna vaccines for COVID-19 protection in the population under the age group of below 30 years.
It said the vaccine will no longer be used in any injection like first dose, second dose, booster dose, etc. in people under 30 years of age.
Increased risk of myocarditis and pericarditis feared due to Moderna
Earlier, the American biotech product was suspended on October 15 in the country for booster injections, following the alert issued by several Scandinavian countries concerning a possible increased risk of myocarditis and pericarditis in the young population.
It is precisely for this reason, supported by a French study published on Monday, that the HAS now completely advises against Moderna vaccinations among those under 30.
The risk of myocarditis and pericarditis appeared to be particularly significant in young males within the age group of 12 to 29 following the second dosage, with one patient requiring hospitalization among 7600 injections administered within seven days.
Pfizer carries much lower risk of causing serious cardiac complications
The HAS believes that only Pfizer, for which the risk of serious cardiac complications is much lower, should now be administered to young people.
The French agency, on the other hand, gave its green signal to the resumption of booster injections with Moderna among the population over 30 years old.
The French National Authority for Health, based on the new opinion of the European Medicines Agency and on the Epi-Phare report confirming the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis, recommends dispensing with the Moderna vaccine in young people.
Risk of inflammatory heart disease after booster dose needs to be carefully monitored
A third dose administered six to eight months after the second dose resulted in an increase in antibody levels in adults whose antibody levels had decreased, EMA had stated.
Health experts, however, believe that the risk of inflammatory heart disease or other very rare side effects after a booster needs to be carefully monitored and health agencies need to continuously review all the data on the safety and efficacy of the Moderna vaccine.
In fact, Pfizer’s vaccine can be used as a substitute for the Moderna vaccine for booster doses in persons over the age of 30.
3.6 million booster vaccines administered but still insufficient
3.6 million people have received booster shots so far. However, among individuals who have had their last injection at least six months ago, this figure represents fewer than one in every two eligible residents.
It is pertinent to mention here that vaccination coverage by the French government is deemed insufficient, which is a matter of concern for the health authorities.
Having said that, French President Emmanuel Macron is now expected to make new announcements for pacing up the vaccination process in the country.