The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was investigating a few reported cases of heart problems in teenagers and young adults who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, the New York Times reported Saturday.
According to the Times, the agency’s vaccine safety group said a very small number of young vaccine recipients had developed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, which can result in fatigue, chest pain and abnormal heart rhythms.
The group said “most cases appear to be mild, and follow-up of cases is ongoing.”
The CDC’s investigation is in the early stages. The agency is still working to determine if vaccines are to blame, but said the condition could be linked to mRNA vaccines, which are made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.
Symptoms of myocarditis would typically appear in teens and young adults about four days after their second dose of one of the mRNA vaccines.
“It may simply be a coincidence that some people are developing myocarditis after vaccination,” Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist told the Times.
“It’s more likely for something like that to happen by chance, because so many people are getting vaccinated right now.”
“We look forward to seeing more data about these cases, so we can better understand if they are related to the vaccine or if they are coincidental,” said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’s Committee on Infectious Diseases.
“Meanwhile, it’s important for pediatricians and other clinicians to report any health concerns that arise after vaccination.”
The Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for use on people ages 12 and up, while Moderna is authorized for those 18 and older.
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“It’s a scary thing because we’re really protective of our heart,” Section Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases/Tropical Medicine at the Moffitt Cancer Center John N. Greene, MD said.
“However, it’ll probably turn out this is no more likely than death that was recently investigated, but that’s why we want to know now and come up with a figure.”
Despite the recent news, Dr. Greene is telling parents to get their children vaccinated.
“The risk of getting those bad outcomes with the vaccine is 100 times less than getting the viral infection, so we still recommend get the vaccine,” Greene said.