Health Council recommends Moderna vaccine for teenagers
Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 can also get the Moderna vaccine against Covid-19, the Dutch Health Council said in advice to the cabinet after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the use of the vaccine for this age group. The Moderna vaccine provides adequate protection against Covid-19 and is safe to use, the Health Council said, NU.nl reports.
Teenagers in the Netherlands are currently only given the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna vaccine requires two shots for optimal protection.
Like the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine has two serious possible side effects: myocarditis which is the inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis which is the inflammation of the pericardium. These side effects occur very sporadically. In all of Europe, 20 million Moderna doses have been administered and 38 cases of these side effects were reported.
The question is whether the use of the Moderna vaccine on teenagers will speed up the Netherlands' vaccination program, which doesn't make much use of this vaccine. So far over 1.7 million Moderna doses have been administered in the Netherlands, compared to 14.75 million Pfizer doses.
The Health Council advice does not mean that teenagers can immediately get the Moderna vaccine. The Minister of Public Health first has to approve the use.