Jun 23, 2021 - Health

CDC: "Likely association" between rare heart inflammation and COVID-19 vaccines

Pizer vaccine vial with a syringe
A Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

The CDC concluded Wednesday there is a "likely association" between heart inflammation and COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, especially in adolescents and young adults, but still see a clear benefit for the group to get the shot.

The big picture: The findings presented by the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices coincide with similar data — that men under 30 make up a larger proportion of cases especially after the second shot, and the condition is rare and treatable.

What's happening: As a result, the agency will continue to track results long-term and officials agreed to add a warning about the risk to information sheets for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

  • If myocarditis occurs after a first dose, the agency recommends the second should be deferred until more information is known. If the person has recovered, they can proceed to the second dose.
Photo: COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in adolescents and young adults: Benefit-risk discussion slides from the CDC ACIP meeting.
Photo: COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in adolescents and young adults: Benefit-risk discussion slides from the CDC ACIP meeting.

By the numbers: The CDC identified 12.6 cases per million second doses of any mRNA vaccine in the 21 days following vaccination.

  • 309 out of 323 were hospitalized; 295 out of those were discharged and nine remain in the hospital with two in ICU; five are without outcome data, as of June 11.
  • Roughly 300 million of the shots had been administered as of June 11, the agency said.

Be smart: The risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 even in young people is still greater, the agency says.

  • This type of myocarditis or pericarditis that has been linked to the mRNA vaccines appear to be more mild compared to the traditional condition.
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