Earlier this month, Sweden’s Public Health Agency restricted the use of Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine on heart-related concerns in those below 30 years
The Agency cited research in Australia, “that showed an increased risk of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart) after vaccination,” according to a report from Stockholm.
Novavax pointed out the Agency’s recommendation was for precautionary reasons while it awaited additional data from ongoing studies. Further, it added, the Agency had acknowledged that the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis was “very small” and that “both conditions often resolve on their own without causing any lasting problems.”
The development comes even as mRNA vaccines are scrutinised for possible links to cardiac events. In fact, recent anecdotal reports of young people succumbing to cardiac events raised uncomfortable red flags in its reporting in India.
Doctors observe that such incidents, while unfortunate, are “very rare”. But with close to two years of vaccination-related information available, health authorities can take a more calibrated approach on vaccinating people based on their risk-profile, as variants emerge, says Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, Co-Chairman National IMA (Indian Medical Association) Covid taskforce.
The American biotech firm Novavax has an alliance with India’s Serum Institute, and its version of the vaccine, Covovax, has received emergency regulatory approvals in the 12-17 age group.
The Novavax spokesperson, further, added, “While the risk of developing myocarditis or pericarditis is very low, both are important identified risks of Covid-19 vaccines, including Nuvaxovid. Reported events of myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination with Nuvaxovid have generally been mild, self-limited, and clinically consistent with the literature describing myocarditis after mRNA Covid-19 vaccination. The product information for Nuvaxovid contains information for healthcare providers and vaccinated individuals regarding the risk of these events.”