A medical care worker prepares to administer a vaccination shot of Moderna at a medical institution in Chiba on 21 June. Asahi Shimbun File photo The health ministry is preparing to recommend some males in their teens and 20 s get the Pfizer COVID IIN - 19 vaccine instead of Moderna over concerns the latter could cause heart muscle inflammation, sources said.
The ministry is simply trying to play it safe with the vaccine rollout by issuing the recommendation, sources said. It comes after reports from overseas of rare incidences in which young men developed inflamed heart muscles.
Officials at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare are scheduled to discuss the planned guidance at a meeting with a COVID - 19 expert panel on Oct. 15.
Countries in Northern Europe have made similar moves to opt out young people from getting Moderna jabs.
Sweden has suspended its use for people over 30 and under.
People in Denmark are temporarily ineligible to receive Moderna vaccine if they are 21 or younger.
The countries cite the possibility of developing side effects such as myocarditis, which is heart muscle inflammation, and pericarditis, which is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.
Data obtained as of September 12 in Japan showed that 21.6 teenage males and 17.06 males built myocarditis or pericarditis after they received the Moderna vaccine in their 20 s for 1 million males.
According to some reports, comparable numbers came to 1.87 males and 13.08 males in their 20 s per 1 million for those who were provided the Pfizer vaccine.
The reports said that even if recipients developed myocarditis or pericarditis, most cases were mild.
The ministry also recommends that those who got the Pfizer vaccine for their first shot switch to the Moderna vaccine for their second shot.