Coronavirus: The heart reaction examined by U.S. health authorities as a possible rare link to the vaccine in adolescents

Health authorities are trying to determine if the inflammation of the heart that can occur with many types of infection can also be a rare side effect in adolescents and young adults after the second dose of the vaccine. of COVID-19.

An article on seven U.S. boys in several states, published online Friday in Pediatrics, is one of the latest reports of heart inflammation discovered after being vaccinated with COVID-19, even if a link to the vaccine has not been confirmed.

The boys, ages 14 to 19, received Pfizer shots in April or May and experienced chest pain within a few days. Imaging tests of the heart show a type of inflammation of the heart muscle called myocarditis.

No one is critically ill. Everyone was healthy enough to go home after two to six days of going to the hospital and doing “very well,” Drs. Preeti Jaggi, an infectious disease specialist at Emory University co -wrote the report.

He said more follow-up is needed to figure out what the seven fares are but it is possible that the heart changes are temporary.

Only one in seven men in the Pediatrics report had evidence of possible previous COVID-19 infection and doctors determined that none of them had a unique inflammatory condition associated with the coronavirus.

The cases cite reports from Israel of young men being diagnosed after receiving Pfizer shots.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned doctors last month that it was monitoring small reports of heart inflammation in teens and young adults after mRNA vaccines, the class said. made by Pfizer and Moderna.

The CDC has not determined if there is really a link to the shots, and continues to urge that everyone 12 and older be vaccinated against COVID-19, which is more dangerous than the vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is available to children as young as 12 years of age; the Moderna shot remains reserved exclusively for adult use.

This type of heart inflammation can cause a variety of infections, including resistance to COVID -19, as well as certain medications – and there have been rare reports following other vaccinations.

Authorities should be ridiculed if cases following COVID-19 vaccination occur more frequently than the expected “background rate.”

Currently, the CDC says most male patients, reported symptoms after the second dose, and their symptoms quickly improved.

“I think we’re in a waiting period where we have to see if it’s cause-and-effect or not,” said John Grabenstein of the Immunization Action Coalition, a former director of the Department of Defense’s immunization program. .

A Pediatrics editorial noted that among children in the United States under the age of 18, there were more than 4 million cases of COVID-19, more than 15,000 hospitalized and at least 300 deaths.

The CDC on Friday reported that COVID-19 hospitalization of children ages 12 to 17 fell earlier this year but also rose in March and April. Possible causes include the spread of new strains of the virus, too many children going back to school, or the relaxation of masks and social exclusion rules, according to agency researchers.

While infected children are less likely to get sick than adults, CDC data on 200 hospitalizations from 14 states show that un-third are treated in intensive care units. The report did not mention a heart connection.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said those hospitalized raised concerns and urged parents to get their children vaccinated.

“Vaccination is our way out of this pandemic,” he said in a statement.

The Pediatrics editorial says that cases of heart inflammation warrant further investigation but adds that “the benefits of vaccination against this deadly and highly contagious disease are clearly greater than any potential. dangerous. “

Editorial co-author Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, head of an American Academy of Pediatrics infectious diseases committee, participated in Pfizer’s vaccine studies, including the COVID-19 vaccine study in children.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department received support from Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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