(LifeSiteNews) – The mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna come with a higher likelihood of myocarditis, according to a peer-reviewed study of more than 23 million people in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

The study by a team of researchers with the health agencies of those countries, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, identified 1,077 “incident myocarditis events” and 1,149 “incident pericarditis events” among 23,122,522 Nordic residents (81% of whom were vaccinated by the end of the study; 50.2% of whom were female). “Within the 28-day period, for males and females 12 years or older combined who received a homologous schedule, the second dose was associated with higher risk of myocarditis.”

“This cohort study of 23.1 million residents across 4 Nordic countries showed higher rates of myocarditis and pericarditis within 28 days after being vaccinated with SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines compared with being unvaccinated,” the study says. “The risks of myocarditis and pericarditis were highest within the first 7 days of being vaccinated, were increased for all combinations of mRNA vaccines, and were more pronounced after the second dose. A second dose of mRNA-1273 had the highest risk of myocarditis and pericarditis, with young males aged 16 to 24 years having the highest risk.”

“These extra cases among men aged 16–24 correspond to a 5 times increased risk after Comirnaty [the Pfizer shot] and 15 times increased risk after Spikevax [Moderna] compared to unvaccinated,” the Swedish Medical Products Agency’s Dr. Rickard Ljung, one of the researchers behind the study, told The Epoch Times.

The study notes that the risk of myocarditis from COVID itself “was highest in the older age groups, whereas the risk of myocarditis after vaccination was highest in the younger age groups,” further reinforcing that the danger of the virus varies based on age, a fact often neglected by the public health establishment over the past two years.

Ultimately, “[t]he risk of myocarditis associated with vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 must be balanced against the benefits of these vaccines,” the study concludes.

The authors qualify their findings by stating that overall, “[m]yocarditis after mRNA vaccination was rare in this study cohort and even among young males,” and add that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency, and American College of Cardiology all assert that the “benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks,” a claim endorsed by a press release for the study.

Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist and prominent critic of the COVID medical establishment who is currently chief medical adviser for the Truth for Health Foundation, disputed that notion in a statement to Epoch.

“In cardiology we spend our entire career trying to save every bit of heart muscle. We put in stents, we do heart catheterization, we do stress tests, we do CT angiograms. The whole game of cardiology is to preserve heart muscle,” McCullough said. “Under no circumstances would we accept a vaccine that causes even one person to sustain heart damage. Not one. And this idea that ‘oh, we’re going to ask a large number of people to sustain heart damage for some other theoretical benefit for a viral infection,’ which for most is less than a common cold, is untenable. The benefits of the vaccines in no way outweigh the risks.”

The study adds another data point in support of those who harbor doubts about the abortion-tainted COVID-19 vaccines, which were developed under U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” initiative in a tenth of the time vaccine development usually takes and a quarter of the time it took the previous record-holder (the mumps vaccine).

Further, studies have found that vaccine-induced COVID protection wanes around six months (or potentially sooner); by contrast, more than 150 studies have found that natural immunity from prior COVID infection “is equal to or more robust and superior to” the vaccines.

Accordingly, data indicates that a strategy focused on mass vaccinations and increasingly frequent boosters has failed to end the pandemic in exchange for these issues. The U.S. federal government considers more than 219 million Americans (66% of the eligible) to be “fully vaccinated” (a moving target given the vaccines’ temporary nature), yet data from Johns Hopkins University reported last October shows that more Americans died of COVID-19 by that point in 2021 (353,000) than in all of 2020 (352,000).

The Moderna vaccine was available throughout all of 2021; the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson shots were made available in late February of that year.