COVID-19 in Iceland: Moderna Vaccine Used for 60+ Skip to content
COVID-19 vaccine vaccination Iceland
Photo: Almannavarnir/Facebook. The first COVID-19 vaccines are administered to healthcare workers in Iceland, December 29, 2020.

COVID-19 in Iceland: Moderna Vaccine Used for 60+

Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist announced yesterday that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will only be used for booster shots among those 60 and older. Health authorities in Iceland temporarily suspended use of the Moderna vaccine on October 8, 2021 after data from Nordic countries showed an increased likelihood of cardiac inflammation as a side effect of the drug. The Chief Epidemiologist stated that the decision would be reviewed if new data emerges suggesting the vaccine is safe for younger demographics.

“Unpublished data from the Nordic countries indicate that the risk of cardiac inflammation after vaccination against COVID-19 is much higher among 18 to 39-year-olds if the Moderna vaccine is used than after vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine.” the announcement reads. “Cardiac inflammation after vaccination is much less common among older demographics. It should be noted that the use of the Moderna vaccine in 12 to 17-year-olds is much lower than the use of the Pfizer vaccine in Europe and no comparison of the safety of the vaccines in that age group has been made in this study.”

Over 75% of Iceland’s population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including over 60% of those 12-15 years old (the youngest eligible demographic). Icelandic health authorities have begun administering booster shots to vulnerable populations and healthcare workers. Those under 60 who have received a single shot of Moderna will be invited to complete their vaccination with a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Men 18-39 are not recommended to accept the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Just over 20,000 residents of Iceland have been fully vaccinated with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Data shows that the vast majority of vaccination side effects emerge shortly after vaccination takes place.

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