CDC panel confirms "likely association" between rare cases of heart inflammation coronavirus vaccines in adolescents

June 24, 2021

Members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reported June 24, there is a "likely association" between rare cases of heart inflammation and the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines in adolescents and young adults.

Reports of myocarditis and pericarditis are higher than the number of expected cases in 16 to 24-year-olds after the second vaccine dose. Since April 2021, there have been more than a thousand reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) of cases of inflammation of the heart—called myocarditis and pericarditis—happening after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna) in the United States. These reports are rare, given the hundreds of millions of vaccine doses administered, and have been reported after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, particularly in adolescents and young adults. CDC and its partners are actively monitoring these reports, by reviewing data and medical records, to learn more about what happened and to understand any relationship to COVID-19 vaccination. 

Most patients who received care responded well to treatment and rest and quickly felt better.

Confirmed cases have occurred: 

·        Mostly in male adolescents and young adults age 16 years or older

·         More often after getting the second dose than after the first dose of one of these two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines

·         Typically within several days after COVID-19 vaccination 

Patients can usually return to their normal daily activities after their symptoms improve. They should speak with their doctor about return to exercise or sports. 

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart. In both cases, the body’s immune system causes inflammation in response to an infection or some other trigger. Learn more about myocarditis and pericarditis. 

CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 12 years of age and older, given the risk of COVID-19 illness and related, possibly severe complications, such as long-term health problems, hospitalization, and even death. The known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis. Also, most patients with myocarditis and pericarditis who received care responded well to treatment and rest and quickly felt better. 

Myocarditis/Pericarditis symptoms include:

·         Chest pain

·         Shortness of breath

·         Feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart

·         Seek medical care if you think you or your child have any of these symptoms within a week after COVID-19 vaccination.

More than 177 million people have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, and CDC continues to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for any health problems that happen after vaccination. 

CDC has the guidance

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