The CDC is investigating reports that a very small number of teens and young adults who have been vaccinated against the Coronavirus may have had heart problems, according to the agency’s Vaccine Safety Group.
The group’s statement was scant in detail. It said only that there were “relatively few” cases and that they might not be related to vaccination. This condition, called myocarditis, is an inflammation of the heart muscle and can occur after a certain infection.
The CDC review is still in the early stages, and the agency has not yet determined whether there is any evidence that vaccines caused heart disease. The agency has published a guide on its website urging doctors and clinicians to watch out for unusual heart symptoms among young people who have just received their vaccines.
“It might just be a coincidence that some people develop myocarditis after vaccination,” said Dr. Celine Gunder, an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York. “Something like that is likely to happen by chance, because a lot of people are being vaccinated now.”
The cases appear to have occurred mostly in teens and young adults approximately four days after the second dose of one of the mRNA vaccines, manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. Cases were more common in men than in women.
The Vaccine Safety Group said, “Most of the cases appear to be mild, and follow-up of cases is ongoing.” The CDC strongly recommends Covid vaccines for Americans 12 years of age and older.
“We hope to see more data on these cases, so we can better understand whether they are related to the vaccine or are they coincidental,” said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chair of the Infectious Diseases Committee at the American Academy of Pediatrics. . “In the meantime, it is important that pediatricians and other physicians report any health problems that arise after vaccination.”
Experts have confirmed that the possible rare side effects of myocarditis are faint compared to the potential risks of Covid, including the persistent syndrome called “prolonged Covid”. Severe Covid itself can cause myocarditis.