Get PolitiFact in your inbox.
If Your Time is short
• The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has not been discredited. A new recommendation about the vaccine applies only to those under the age of 31 in one European country, Belgium.
A blog headline gives the impression that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has been widely discredited. It hasn’t.
The headline on the article, which was published on a website called Newsbreak, reads, "Moderna COVID vaccine is no longer recommended due to heart inflammation."
The article was shared on Facebook and was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The headline, which lacks detail about who and where is affected by the recommendation, is misleading. The article links to another website that accurately references a Moderna policy change that applies only to those under age 31 in one European country, Belgium.
The Newsbreak article is just a brief paragraph that says, in part, "There are all kinds of discussions about the potential side effects of the covid vaccine, and these include heart inflammation for younger people. Check out the latest reports involving Moderna vaccines below."
It then links to a site called Health Thoroughfare, which more accurately reports the details of Belgium’s recommendation for Moderna use, saying "the very rare side effect among under-31s of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine" led Belgium to stop recommending it for that age group.
Belgium announced it would stop using the Moderna vaccine as a first or second dose for 18- to 30-year-olds, because of a rare side effect of inflammation of the heart muscle, The Brussels Times reported. People in that age group can still receive Moderna as a booster shot, according to the newspaper.
"The decision for the basic vaccination of 18- to 30-year-olds is based on international knowledge of possible side effects that are very rare. We took this decision as a precaution," Gudrun Briat, the spokesperson for the Vaccination Task Force, told the newspaper.
"Usually the inflammation is harmless and goes away without being noticed, but if there is an alternative vaccine available, it makes more sense not to take any risks," Briat said, according to the article.
Other European nations have taken similar steps, PolitiFact reported. In the fall, Sweden temporarily suspended the use of Moderna for those under 30 years old; Finland stopped using Moderna for males under 30 years old; Norway recommended that people under age 18 and men under age 30 take the Pfizer vaccine instead of Moderna’s but did not require it; and Denmark said those under 18 can request Moderna if they wish.
The headline on a blog article reads, "Moderna COVID vaccine is no longer recommended due to heart inflammation."
The headline is misleading; it gives the false impression that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has been widely discredited.
A new recommendation about the Moderna vaccine applies only to those under the age of 31 in one European country, Belgium, and only to the two initial doses, not boosters.
The statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate this claim Mostly False.
Health Thoroughfare, "Moderna Covid Vaccine Is No Longer Recommended For People Under 31 Due To Heart Inflammation Risks," Jan. 19, 2022
Newsbreak, "Moderna Covid Vaccine Is No Longer Recommended Due To Heart Inflammation," Jan. 19, 2022
PolitiFact, "Facebook posts get the details wrong about use of Moderna in Scandinavian countries," Nov. 4, 2021
The Brussels Times, "Moderna no longer used to vaccinate under-31s," Jan. 13, 2022
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.