Young people are experiencing rare cases of heart inflammation after getting coronavirus vaccines, but doctors say the risk of COVID-19 is far greater

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Young people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccines are reporting higher-than-usual rates of heart inflammation and swelling, US health officials said on Thursday.

The findings are preliminary and come from a self-reported database of potential side effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to confirm a link to the vaccines, although researchers are now investigating these incidents of heart inflammation, known as myocarditis, and heart swelling, known as pericarditis.

The CDC plans to convene an advisory group to discuss the issue on June 18. Earlier this month, Israel’s health ministry said there was a “probable link” between Pfizer’s vaccine and heart muscle inflammation in young men.

In Thursday interviews with Insider, cardiologists and infectious-disease specialists said the potential risk of the vaccine is still tiny compared to the potential damage from getting infected with the coronavirus. Not all experts are convinced there’s a link between the events and the shots.

“It’s not a no-brainer that there’s an association, because the season for getting myocarditis is around now,” Dr. Lorry Rubin, director of pediatric infectious diseases at Northwell Health’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center told Insider.

A group of viruses called enteroviruses is the most common cause of myocarditis, Rubin said. Those viruses typically circulate in the summer months.

“That’s not the sole cause, but that’s the most common infectious trigger for myocarditis and that’s more of a seasonal infection,” he said.

All three experts also agreed that getting vaccinated, even for young and healthy men and boys, is still the best option.

“You definitely should choose vaccination in that age group because it’s safer than wild-type virus infection,” said Dr. Leslie Cooper, a cardiologist who specializes in myocarditis at the Mayo Clinic.

Early reporting shows more heart side effects reported than expected

The preliminary data show elevated rates of the heart issues among younger vaccinated people, ages 16 to 24 years old. CDC officials, presenting Thursday at a Food and Drug Administration advisory meeting,  shared data that included about 12 million doses given to people in this age range. CDC officials said they would typically expect to see between 10 to 102 cases of these heart events in this group. Instead, 275 confirmed cases have been reported.

Most of these cases came after the second dose and were commonly reported in men, according to the preliminary data. The CDC is still in the process of confirming and investigating these self-reported cases. 

The most common symptoms were chest pain and elevated levels of cardiac enzymes. The vast majority of these cases were short-lived, and at least 81% of people have already fully recovered from their symptoms, according to the data.

Even if the cases are linked to the vaccine, experts said the greater risk — by far — is COVID-19. 

“We’re talking about an incidence of myocarditis from the vaccine that is 100 times lower than the incidence when you actually get the infection,” Dr. Eliot Peyster, a cardiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, told Insider. “So, yes it’s probably twice as likely as people who …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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