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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A CDC advisory committee will meet Wednesday to evaluate the risk of heart inflammation in teens who get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Why it matters: Cases of heart inflammation are rare, but they've raised concerns among some experts and scientists — including some whose job it is to sift through those risks and recommend whether to authorize the vaccines for children younger than 12.

What they're saying: “Myocarditis is something that needs to be looked at closely because we’re likely seeing the tip of the iceberg," Michael Kurilla, a member of an FDA Advisory Committee on vaccines, said earlier this month.

Yes, but: Out of 310 million vaccine doses administered, there have been 323 confirmed cases of myocarditis or pericarditis as of June 14, according to the CDC.

  • The cases have been primarily from teens and men age 30 and younger. Symptoms were usually mild, and the overwhelming majority of patients who were hospitalized with the condition — 81% — made a full recovery.
  • Unvaccinated children and young adults are also at higher risk of getting heart inflammation and related conditions if they contract COVID-19, experts say.

The bottom line: Many observers say they don't expect the advisory committee to recommend against vaccination for teens or young adults.

  • "It may well be in the end that we stay where we are," incoming American Heart Association president Donald Lloyd-Jones told Axios.
  • The panel "will do what they did for the J&J vaccine, which is to put it in context and allow the listener to understand the concept of relative risk — that a choice not to get these vaccines is not a risk-free choice," said Paul Offit, a member of FDA's vaccine advisory panel.

Go deeper

Sep 29, 2021 - Health

CDC issues urgent advisory calling on pregnant people to get COVID vaccine

Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

The CDC issued "an urgent health advisory" on Wednesday urging people who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Why it matters: The CDC said it "strongly recommends" vaccination because its benefits for a pregnant person and the fetus outweigh the risks. It added that pregnant people with COVID-19 are at "increased risk" of outcomes such as preterm birth, stillbirth and admission of a newborn into the ICU.

AT&T mandates COVID vaccination for most unionized workers

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

AT&T expanded its COVID-19 vaccine mandate Wednesday to employees who are members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union.

Why it matters: The communications giant is one of the biggest employers in the U.S. to require frontline workers to be vaccinated against the virus. The union said it represents some 90,000 AT&T workers, per AP.

Kate Marino, author of Markets
55 mins ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views on their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of cancelled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.