France’s public health authority has recommended people under the age of 30 be given Pfizer’s Comirnaty Covid-19 vaccine when available instead of Moderna Inc’s Spikevax jab, after studies showed the latter carried comparatively higher risks of heart-related problems. Advertising
The Haute Autorite de Santé (HAS), which acts as an advisor to the French health sector, cited “very rare” risks that the Moderna vaccine was linked to a heart disease known as myocarditis, which had shown up in a French study published on Monday.
“Within the population aged under 30, this risk appears to be around five times lower with Pfizer’s Comirnaty jab compared to Moderna’s Spikevax jab,” HAS said in its opinion published the same day.
HAS does not have legal power to ban or licence drugs but said that its recommendation would apply regardless of the vaccine’s use as a first, second or third “booster” dose, and would be valid until more scientific findings on the matter are known.
For persons aged over 30, however, the authority explicitly recommended the use of the Moderna vaccine, saying its effectiveness was slightly superior.
The European Union’s drug regulator last month approved Moderna’s booster vaccine, saying in its review that the jab may be given to people aged 18 years and above, at least six months after the second dose.
HAS reiterated the importance of vaccinating as many people as possible to contain the spread of Covid-19.
On Monday government figures showed the number of daily infections in France had increased by 23.4 percent over the last week, prompting speculation about making a third vaccine dose mandatory.
President Emmanuel Macron is expected to devote a large part of his televised address to the nation on Tuesday evening to the health crisis.