Federal officials from the CDC and FDA have recently come out to address the possible connection between mRNA vaccinations for COVID-19 and cardiac issues. This recent statement acknowledged that there is a “likely connection” between the vaccines and myocarditis or pericarditis. While more research needs to be done, it is possible that the shots lead to a heightened risk of cardiac complications in adolescents and young adults.
Connection Between Shots and Myocarditis/Pericarditis
First, it is important to know what exactly these heart conditions are. Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, which reduces the organ’s ability to pump blood. It is important to seek treatment for this condition, as a severe case can stop the heart from pumping blood throughout the body, leading to clots, strokes, or heart attacks. On the other hand, pericarditis occurs when the tissue surrounding your heart becomes inflamed and swollen. Like myocarditis, treatment is integral, as long-term complications may arise.
Now that we understand what these cardiac issues are, we can begin to understand their connection to COVID-19 vaccinations. The FDA and CDC presented evidence last Wednesday (June 23, 2021) that stated some groups – particularly males under the age of 30 – are seeing higher rates of myocarditis/pericarditis after receiving their second dose of an mRNA vaccine. This includes both Moderna’s and Pfizer’s shots.
While these side effects appear to be rare, it is important to point out and further investigate the connection. Most cases have not been severe, although they have required hospitalization. In fact, officials believe that cases of myocarditis caused by the vaccine are milder than those with other causes. It is important to note that it is too early to make this distinction yet, however. Federal agencies are still collecting data and conducting research into this issue. They also plan to add warnings about the link between heart issues and the vaccines.
In the end, younger people – especially males – may have a higher risk of myocarditis or pericarditis after receiving their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Still, federal health agencies continue to recommend the shot for all Americans over the age of 12. A statement from Sarah Oliver of the CDC reiterated this point, stating,
The benefits still clearly outweigh the risks for Covid-19 vaccination in adolescents and young adults.
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