The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last week that there is a stronger correlation between the coronavirus vaccine and heart inflammation than had previously been thought. Deputy director of the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office, Tom Shimabukuro, said males under the age of 30 may face heart complications after receiving a full shot.
Shimabukuro told NBC News “we clearly have an imbalance there” as it relates to the fact that teenagers and people in their 20s accounted for more than half of the myocarditis cases reported to the CDC’s safety monitoring systems after having received the COVID-19 vaccination.
Normally, fewer than 100 cases would be expected for the young age group, but “overall, 226 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis after vaccination in people younger than age 30 have been confirmed” said Shimabukuro during a presentation to a Food and Drug Administration advisory group. The CDC had information on the recovery of 220 patients and said in over 80 percent of the cases, patients got better on their own.
Myocarditis is a condition that involves inflammation of the heart muscle. Symptoms can include fever and fatigue, as well as shortness of breath and a very specific type of chest pain. Patients tend to say their chest hurts more when they lean forward. The pain tends to abate when they lean back.
When needed, treatment may involve anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, and in some cases, an intravenous medication called IVIG.
Generally, children who have myocarditis will follow up with a cardiologist for about six months to make sure there are no other significant problems. Most cases are generally mild and go away on their own.
while further investigation is still needed to confirm if the vaccination caused the heart issues, Dr. Cody Meissner, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the Tufts Children’s Hospital in Boston said, “it is hard to deny that there’s some event that seems to be occurring in terms of myocarditis.”