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Heart Health Cardio-Vascular Infection Protection Infectious Disease

CDC Says Vaccine Link To Heart Inflammation Is Stronger Than Previously Thought

4 months ago

5445  0
Posted on Jun 16, 2021, 5 a.m.

The heart of the problem of getting vaccinated….

Story at a glance:

  • Males under 30 may face heart problems after getting vaccinated.
  • Myocarditis and pericarditis share the same symptoms.
  • For some, treatment for myocarditis can be solved with over-the-counter medication or resolve itself.

Last Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there is a stronger correlation between the coronavirus vaccine and heart inflammation.

Males under the age of 30 may face heart complications after receiving a full shot, Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC's Immunization Safety Office, said during a Food and Drug Administration advisory group, NBC News reported. 

Although it has not been officially confirmed to be an associated problem, the agency is investigating 226 cases of myocarditis, the inflammation of the myocardium in the heart, and pericarditis, the inflammation of the pericardium, among young, vaccinated men. Myocarditis and pericarditis share the same symptoms, including fever, fatigue, shortness of breath and a particular type of chest pain. 

In most cases, an investigation would have been warranted if there were fewer than 100 cases, NBC News reported.

Myocarditis following vaccination tends to skew younger, with its victims being teenagers and men in their early 20s. It is important to note that thus far the myocarditis cases represent a small fraction of young men who received the shot and experienced no immediate after-effects.

"We clearly have an imbalance there," Shimabukuro told NBC News.

The CDC said that among the 220 patients recovering, more than 80 percent of them got better on their own. Most cases of myocarditis can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, and in some cases, IVIG, an intravenous medication.

“It is hard to deny that there’s some event that seems to be occurring in terms of myocarditis,” said Dr. Cody Meissner, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the Tufts Children’s Hospital in Boston, referring to the higher than expected number of cases of myocarditis among young people after receiving their second dose of the mRNA shot. 

According to the CDC, a total of 475 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis were recorded in patients 30 and younger, but only 226 reports meet the agency’s “working case definition.” The majority have recovered, but 41 still have ongoing symptoms, 15 are still hospitalized and 3 are in the intensive care unit. Currently, more cases have been reported in males than in females, and the onset typically occurs within days of receiving the second shot. The CDC notes that the number of reports of myocarditis and pericarditis following the shots has not risen above the expected baseline rates, and that the agency is investigating the reports. 

According to Children’s Health Defense, a search in the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) revealed 900 cases of pericarditis and myocarditis reported in the U.S., among all age groups, following COVID vaccination, between Dec. 14, 2020, and June 4, 2021. Of the 900 cases reported, 59 cases occurred in the 12- to 17-year-old group –– all but one case was attributed to Pfizer.

Doctors recommend that recipients and their families pay close attention to possible symptoms and follow up on them. Myocarditis and pericarditis are conditions that involve inflammation of the heart muscle. Symptoms can include fever and fatigue, as well as shortness of breath and a very specific type of chest pain. Patients tend to say their chest hurts more when they lean forward. The pain tends to abate when they lean back. 

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