According to a Brussels Times report, Belgium stopped using Moderna's mRNA COVID-19 vaccine as a primary shot for those younger than 31 years in December 2021. The country instead recommended the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for initial vaccination despite also being linked to cardiac inflammation.
Following the advice of the country's Superior Health Council, Moderna vaccines were reallocated for booster doses. Half the standard dose would be injected to Belgians between 18 and 30 years old. Joris Moonens, spokesman for the country's care and health agency, said the Moderna vaccine "will be used for the rest of the booster vaccination campaign unless the scientific insights into its use change."
Gudrun Briat, spokeswoman for Belgium's vaccination task force, said the move was based on research showing a higher risk of cardiac inflammation. She told Brussels Times: "The decision for the basic vaccination of 18- to 30-year-olds is based on international knowledge of possible side effects. We took this decision as a precaution." (Related: Risk of heart inflammation is higher from Moderna vaccine than from COVID-19 among people under 40.)
Briat cited international data on the Moderna vaccine's side effects as factors for the decision. One study in Denmark showed a higher risk of myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle – in young men following injection with either the first or second Moderna dose compared to the Pfizer vaccine. "If there is an alternative vaccine available, it makes more sense not to take any risks," the spokeswoman added.
Belgium's decision to stop offering the Moderna vaccine for those under 30 followed several Nordic countries halting the vaccine over cardiac inflammation concerns. FOX 19 reported back in October 2021 that Sweden, Denmark and Norway issued warnings about the mRNA shot. Stockholm and Copenhagen suspended its use on individuals below 30 years old, while Oslo urged younger people to get the Pfizer vaccine instead.
Aside from European countries, Japan also raised red flags over the use of the Moderna vaccine due to the cardiac inflammation concerns. The country's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) announced the "raised alertness" through a press release published by the Kyodo News Agency.
The Dec. 3, 2021 press release said the ministry "decided to raise alertness to 'serious side reactions'" about the cardiac risk from the normal warnings. It has also required doctors to "report symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis reported more frequently in young men" following vaccination with both the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. (Related: Japan Health Ministry issues HEART WARNING for Pfizer and Moderna covid vaccines.)
An article by government-owned public broadcaster NHK acknowledged the issue, adding that instances of cardiac inflammation occurred at a higher rate in males 12 to 29 years old. Because of this, the MHLW allowed individuals in the cohort to choose either Pfizer or Moderna for their first or second shot.
"The situation has prompted [the MHLW] to provide information that allows men in the target group to make an informed choice between the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for their first or second shot. Health officials debated whether they should recommend the Pfizer vaccine for all young men. But with some heart inflammation cases also linked to Pfizer, they decided to provide information that allows men in the target group to choose for themselves."
According to the NHK piece, Japanese men aged 12 to 29 who got the Moderna shot as their first can switch to Pfizer for their second vaccine dose. However, an interval of more than 27 days is needed before the second Pfizer dose can be injected.
Watch this video of Dr. Peter McCullough explaining why cardiac inflammation from vaccines is much more serious than the one caused by COVID-19.
VaccineDamage.news has more about the cardiac inflammation risks linked to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.