CDC looks at connection between myocarditis and COVID vaccine shots in young adults

BOSTON — A key Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel met Wednesday to discuss rare reports of heart inflammation in teens and young adults after receiving their second dose of COVID-19 vaccines.

Doctors in Boston, including Dr. Sabrina Assoumou, an infectious disease specialist at Boston Medical Center, are keeping a keen eye on research into a rare condition that has gotten the attention of doctors and parents across the country.

At issue are extremely rare cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults that may be linked to vaccination with the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 shots.

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That’s according to a group of doctors reviewing surveillance of national vaccine health reports.

Those CDC advisers say a higher-than-expected number of young men have experienced heart inflammation, also known as myocarditis, after their second dose of the mRNA COVID-19 shots, with more than half the cases reported in people between the ages of 12 and 24.

There have been 323 reports, out of 310 million Pfizer and Moderna vaccines administered in the United States involving myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart.

Most cases have been mild and outcomes have generally been good for those with the condition.

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Symptoms include chest pain, fatigue and shortness of breath. Symptoms typically develop within four days following the second shot.

The CDC says complications have been rare and treatments can involve medications and rest

Nearly 80-percent of myocarditis and pericarditis occurs in males.

It affects kids as young as 12 with those between 12 and 19 years old with the highest spikes

The reports are extremely rare and the panel of experts stress that at this point the benefits of being protected against COVID-19 clearly outweigh the risks of this condition.

The CDC continued to urge everyone age 12 and older to get vaccinated. The American Academy of Pediatrics maintained the same recommendation.

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