CDC to explore the link between mRNA vaccines and instances of heart inflammation

CDC has noted a ‘higher than expected’ occurrence of inflammation after the second mRNA shot in younger vaccine recipients

  • Publish Date - 8:09 pm, Fri, 11 June 21
CDC to explore the link between mRNA vaccines and instances of heart inflammation
While the CDC is investigating the link between mRNA vaccines and instances of heart inflammation, the health agency maintains that there is no conclusive reason right now to stop use of the vaccines (Image source: AFP)

According to the US Centres of Disease Control, a higher-than-expected number of young men (teenagers and adults) showing signs of heart inflammation after taking a second dose of the mRNA COVID shots from Pfizer/ BioNTech and Moderna. This is according to the latest data gained from vaccine safety monitoring systems.

The data comes only days after Israel’s Health Ministry made a statement regarding the small number of cases that it had found in its own population of heart inflammation following vaccination by an mRNA shot.

According to Israel’s records, 275 cases of myocarditis were observed between December 2020 and May 2021 among more than five million people. 95 per cent of these cases were classified as mild.

To clarify, myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle whereas pericarditis is the inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.

Additionally, a study found that instances of myocarditis after the second vaccine shot were highest in men aged between 16 to 19.

In the US, there have been over 475 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis in people aged 30 or younger according to the CDC. As much as 81 per cent of those who were hospitalised with heart inflammation made full recovery and only three people have till now have needed intensive care.

The CDC says symptoms of heart inflammation usually show up within a week of the second shot being taken by the individual. Symptoms to watch out for include chest pain, shortness of breath and the sensation of a pounding heart.

The CDC is set to organise an emergency meeting of its advisors next week to analyse the connection of vaccines to these cases and also generally investigate the link between heart inflammation and COVID-19.

This possible revelation comes at a significant time for the vaccination campaign in both Israel and the US. Both countries are starting their vaccination campaigns for successively younger groups of the population.

That said, doctors have not recommended a pause on the use of the mRNA vaccines, even for kids older than 12. The few hundred cases in the US are a small fraction of the nearly 130 million or so Americans who have received two shots of the mRNA vaccines.

More importantly, there is simply not enough known to establish an exact relationship between the mRNA vaccines and cases of heart inflammation.

Even if a link is established, the current severity and occurrence of these symptoms means that the risk of not getting the vaccine is far-far higher than the one posed by a rare possible side-effect.