Moderna vaccine suspended for under30s

Luxembourg follows France and Germany in not using the Moderna shot for under 30s.  Photo: Shutterstock

Luxembourg follows France and Germany in not using the Moderna shot for under 30s.  Photo: Shutterstock

Luxembourg will suspend using the Moderna coronavirus vaccine on people aged under 30, following similar decisions in Germany and France, health minister Paulette Lenert (LSAP) said on Thursday. 

A German vaccines committee (Stiko) on Wednesday had said that under 30s should not be given the Spikevax formula due to adverse health effects including myocarditis and pericarditis heart problems. France issued a similar recommendation.

The German authority also recommended using Pfizer/Biontech for second doses and booster shots when people had previously been given Moderna as both are mRNA formulas. 

Though the incidence of such inflammations remains mild, the commission recommended using only the Pfizer (BioNTech) solution for second doses and booster shots.

“The government thinks that it should act along the ‘principle of precaution’ for now, until additional data is published, and revoke the use of Spikevax (Moderna) for people under the age of 30,” Lenert said in answer to a parliamentary question. She added that medical staff and inoculation centres would be informed accordingly.  

The vaccine will, however, still be in use for the ongoing booster shot campaign aimed at over 65s, as the council for infectious diseases (CSMI) recommends the use of an mRNA-vaccine for the third dose.

Previously, the AstraZeneca vaccine had been under scrutiny after it was linked to a rare type of thrombosis. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had not limited the use of the vaccine to any age category or gender, but the Luxembourg government had shifted the responsibility of choosing the vaccine onto the population. 

Luxembourg’s public prosecutor in September confirmed that the death of an elderly lady was linked directly to the AstraZeneca vaccine. She had suffered a brain haemorrhage.