A possible link between some vaccines of Covid-19 and inflammation of the heart requires careful monitoring, but is not a reason for parents or their teenagers to avoid vaccination. The argument comes from researchers after several reports of inflammation in adolescents and adults who were recently vaccinated.
The cases appear to be rare, according to Dr. James de Lemos, professor of medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “They don't change the overall dynamic,” he commented.
As of June 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration had confirmed 323 cases of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, or pericarditis, inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart, in people under 30 who had had received either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. That's out of over 310 million doses administered in the United States
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Dr. Pei-Ni Jone, a pediatric cardiologist at Children's Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, said her clinic has treated nine patients, all teenagers or young adults, with similar symptoms. Initially, after the second dose of the vaccine, they reported common side effects such as tiredness and muscle pain. "And two days later, they have chest pain."
These cases are treated with analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs. “The good news is that all these kids have recovered,” said Jone. They will be advised to limit activities for three to six months, she said, but so far doctors have seen no lasting problems.
Most of them didn't get very sick and didn't need ICU care, and they all recovered clinically after spending “just a few days” in the hospital, he said. "They all did well."
Although myocarditis has been seen with other vaccines, such as smallpox, the exact connection is unclear, de Lemos said. The case reports offer clues that the answer is likely to lie in the body's immune response.
Both de Lemos and Jone said patients with myocarditis need to be monitored for possible long-term problems. But for parents and patients concerned about making the healthiest choice for their children or for themselves, doctors agreed that vaccination is the right decision.
Although data is still coming in on apparent myocarditis after the Covid-19 vaccine, CDC figures as of the end of May estimated that 16 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis would be reported for every million second doses given to people ages 16 and 39 years old. 0,0016%, or about 1 in 62.000.
On the other hand, de Lemos said that the best studies of college athletes put the odds of a young person contracting myocarditis after Covid-19 between 1% and 3%. That's about 1 in 50. So the risk of myocarditis in a young person "is much higher if he gets it than if he gets vaccinated," de Lemos reported.
Vaccines also protect against other Covid-19-related problems: heart damage, lung damage and a condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, which killed 36 children in early June, according to the CDC.
Details about vaccines and myocarditis are still being developed, but the message is still resounding that those who are eligible should be vaccinated.
Source: Medical Xpress
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