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Germany recommends only BioNTech-Pfizer shot to under 30s

November 10, 2021

Younger people have a higher risk of heart inflammation with a Moderna shot, the country's vaccine advisory committee has said. It also advises on the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine to all pregnant women.

A vial of the Pfizer vaccine
Germany's vaccination committee said that people under 30 showed a lower rate of heart inflammations with the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.Image: Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images

Germany's Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) on Wednesday said that only the BioNTech-Pfizer coronavirus vaccine should be given to people under the age of 30.

The decision came after studies showed a lower number of heart inflammations in younger people than with the Moderna vaccine. However, people over the age of 30 have no increased risks of heart troubles after vaccination with Moderna, STIKO said. 

The data includes results issued by the Paul Ehrlich Insitute, the government agency responsible for monitoring and evaluating vaccine side effects and complications.

STIKO said it also recommends that pregnant women, independent of their age, be inoculated only with the Biontech-Pfizer vaccine.

Recommendation could be revised

In a statement, the agency said that the recommendation applies to both initial vaccinations as well as boosters

The draft recommendation will now go to the German states and another group of experts for examination and, possibly, revision.

The US has also delayed approval of the Moderna jab for young people, although last week they recommended use of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages five to 11 after reviewing the risks of myocarditis.

Germany's recommendation comes as the country reports a record-high number of new virus cases. The Robert Koch Institute reported 39,673 new cases on Wednesday, surpassing Friday's record of 37,210 new cases. The insitute added that Germany's infection rate rose to 232.1 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days. 

The total number of deaths, meanwhile, increased by 236, bringing the total to 96,963.

lc/rt (dpa, Reuters)