The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating several dozen reports that teenagers and young adults have developed a heart problem after being given the COVID-19 vaccination.
According to a statement from the agency, it is investigating several dozen reports of people who have developed myocarditis after having received the COVID-19 vaccination.
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle. It can occur after a person has had an infection.
The agency did not list the ages of those who developed myocarditis. Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use for children ages 12 to 15. The vaccine had been approved for those ages 16 and older since December.
Physicians were alerted to the cases of myocarditis first on May 14. The CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical Work Group (VAST) on May 17 reviewed data on myocarditis from the Department of Defense, reports filed with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and others.
Cases have been mild and have been predominately seen in males, according to the agency. VAST said the cases of myocarditis are rare and could have nothing to do with the vaccine.
The agency did not say how many cases were reported.
Myocarditis was seen in those who have taken the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC said that cases of myocarditis were more often seen following the second dose of the vaccine and were typically seen within four days of getting the vaccine.
More than 4 million teens under the age of 18 have received a vaccine, according to the CDC.
About 10 to 22 people per 100,000 are diagnosed with viral myocarditis in the United States in a year. Many cases are mild and, often, people do not get diagnosed with the problem. Symptoms can range from fatigue and chest pain to heart rhythm irregularities, cardiac arrest and even death in rare and severe cases. Mild cases resolve on their own.
“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,” Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’s Committee on Infectious Diseases told The New York Times. “Meanwhile, it’s important for pediatricians and other clinicians to report any health concerns that arise after vaccination.”
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as of May 13, more than 3.9 million children have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus since the onset of the pandemic. Nearly 49,000 new child cases were reported last week, and that marks the lowest number of new weekly cases since late-October.
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