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• Iceland has not stopped using the Moderna vaccine. It continues to administer it for booster shots for those 60 and older.
• Sweden has temporarily suspended the use of Moderna for those under 30 years old.
• None of the other countries — Finland, Norway and Denmark — have completely stopped using Moderna for all people under age 30. Finland is not using Moderna for males under 30 years old; Norway recommends that people under age 18 and men under age 30 take Pfizer instead of Moderna but does not require it; and Denmark said those under 18 can request Moderna if desired.
A social media post misleads when it says use of the Moderna vaccine has been completely discontinued for everyone in Iceland and for all young people in other Scandinavian countries.
"Moderna has been pulled in Iceland and pulled for everyone under age 30 in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark due to heart issues," says the viral Facebook post.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The information is not accurate. Iceland continues to administer Moderna for booster shots for those 60 and older. Of the other countries listed, only one — Sweden — has temporarily suspended the use of the Moderna vaccine for all people under 30 years old.
Finland has limited the use of Moderna only for men and boys under age 30. Norway recommends Pfizer over Moderna for certain people but does not prohibit anyone from taking Moderna. And Denmark said those under 18 can request Moderna if desired.
The countries made the decisions in early October based on an unpublished study conducted by health agencies from four of the five countries. The study showed an increased risk of heart inflammation, called myocarditis, following vaccination with Moderna in adolescents and young adults, and primarily in boys and men. Sweden’s Public Health Agency noted, "The risk of being affected is very small," according to the Associated Press.
The study results are being assessed by the European Medicines Agency and final results are expected soon.
Of the countries listed in the Facebook post, Iceland has taken the most far-reaching actions. First the country’s health authorities said they would completely suspend the use of Moderna. A few days later, they walked that back and said the vaccine would be used as a booster for those age 60 and older "for the time being."
Sweden temporarily suspended the use of Moderna for people born in 1991 or later. The country’s public health agency initially said the pause would last until Dec. 1, but later extended that deadline.
Finland is not administering Moderna to men and boys under 30 years old. "The guidelines are a precautionary measure that will be reassessed when research data is accumulated," the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare reported.
In Norway, the country’s Institute of Public Health recommends that those under age 18 and males under age 30 should be offered the Pfizer vaccine rather than Moderna, but also notes that "the side effect is rare and the absolute risk is still low." The agency says people have a choice: "Those who are to be vaccinated in the future can in any case choose the type of vaccine they want, both as the first and second dose."
A Facebook post said, "Moderna has been pulled in Iceland and pulled for everyone under age 30 in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark due to heart issues."
The information is inaccurate. Iceland has not "pulled" the Moderna vaccine and is still using it for some people over 60.
Of the other countries, Sweden temporarily suspended the use of Moderna for all people under 30, but Finland only restricts its use for males under age 30. Norway and Denmark recommend that young people take vaccines other than Moderna but do not require it.
We rate this claim False.
Associated Press, "Scandinavians curb Moderna shots for some younger patients," Oct. 7, 2021
Bloomberg, "Denmark Will Offer Moderna Vaccine to Children After All," Oct. 8, 2021
Facebook post, Oct. 28, 2021
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, "Getting vaccinated against COVID-19: how, why and when?" accessed Nov. 4, 2021
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, "Coronavirus vaccinations for children and young people," accessed Nov. 4, 2021
Iceland Directorate of Health, "Continued use of the COVID-19 vaccine Moderna in Iceland," Oct. 21, 2021
Iceland Review, "COVID-19 in Iceland: Moderna vaccine use for 60+," Oct. 13, 2021
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, "Myocarditis in boys and young men can occur more
often after the Spikevax vaccine from Moderna," Oct. 6, 2021
Reuters, "Sweden extends pause of Moderna vaccine for younger age group," Oct. 21, 2021
Reuters, "Sweden, Denmark pause Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for younger age groups," Oct. 6, 2021
The Local, "Health authority says Denmark has not withdrawn Moderna Covid-19 vaccine from under-18s," Oct. 8, 2021
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