The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that a higher-than-normal number of cases of a type of heart inflammation following the Kovid-19 vaccination, especially in young men after the second dose of the mRNA vaccine.
In total, there have been 226 confirmed cases of myocarditis or pericarditis after vaccination in people under the age of 30, Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC’s Office of Immunization Safety, said during a presentation to a Food and Drug Administration advisory group. . However, further investigation is needed to confirm whether the vaccination was the cause of the heart problem.
Generally, fewer than 100 cases would be expected for this age group.
Adolescents and people in their early 20s who reported more than half of myocarditis cases following COVID-19 vaccination to the CDC’s safety monitoring system, despite representing a fraction of those who received the shots.
“We clearly have an imbalance there,” Shimabukuro said.
Most of the cases were sent home after a hospital visit by the end of May. It is not clear how many patients were hospitalized, or were discharged after going to the emergency room, for example. Fifteen patients are hospitalized, with three in intensive care units. Two patients in the ICU had other health problems.
The CDC had information on recovering patients in 220 cases; In more than 80 percent of these cases, the patients recovered on their own.
After the presentation, Dr. Cody Meisner, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Tufts Children’s Hospital in Boston, said, “It’s hard to deny that there is some incidence happening in the case of myocarditis.”
Myocarditis is a condition that involves 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 say that their chest hurts more when they bend forward. When they bend back the pain subsides.
When necessary, treatment may include anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, and in some cases, an intravenous drug called IVIG.
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Typically, children who have myocarditis will see a cardiologist for about six months to make sure there are no other significant problems. Most cases are generally mild and go away on their own.
Vaccine safety experts are always on the lookout for a range of potential side effects after any new vaccine. Despite the increasing number of cases of myocarditis in young people, Shimabukuro said, no major red flags have been identified.
Nevertheless, the greater-than-usual phenomenon deserves further investigation. CDC will hold a meeting of its advisory committee on vaccination practices on June 18 to further look at the evidence and assess the risk of myocarditis after vaccination.
Until a definitive link is established, health officials highly recommend COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 12 years of age and older.
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