Health

CDC advisory group says ‘likely link’ between COVID-19 vaccines and rare heart inflammation

BREAKING NEWS: CDC advisory group says there is a ‘likely link’ between COVID-19 vaccines and rare heart inflammation in young males after 300 reported cases

  • The CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical Work Group said Wednesday that there is a ‘likely link’ between rare heart inflammation and vaccines
  • The group noted vaccination with the Pfizer and Moderna shots in adolescents and young adults is notably higher after the second dose and in males 
  • So far, 300 cases have been reported out of 200 million doses, which means the risk occurs in 0.00015% of males
  • Both Pfizer and Moderna say they have not identified an association with the heart inflammation cases and their vaccines

An advisory group for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there is a ‘likely link’ between rare cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults and the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

In a presentation released on Wednesday, the COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical (VaST) Work Group discussed 300 reports of the heart inflammation, known as myocarditis, in vaccinated males between ages 16 and 24.

The group of doctors said  he risk of myocarditis or pericarditis following vaccination with the mRNA-based shots in adolescents and young adults is notably higher after the second dose and in males  

It comes as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is set to meet this week to assess the possibility of a link between the heart condition and the mRNA vaccines.

The CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical Work Group said Wednesday that there is a ‘likely link’ between rare heart inflammation in young males and vaccines. Pictured: Max Zito, age 13, is inoculated by Nurse Karen Pagliaro at Hartford Healthcares mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut, May 13

The CDC earlier this month said it was still evaluating the risk from the condition and did not confirm a causal relationship between the vaccines and the heart issue.    

The agency, however, said a higher-than-expected number of young men have experienced heart inflammation 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.

Dr Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office, said in a presentation that data from one of the agency’s safety monitoring systems – Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) – suggests a rate of 12.6 cases per million in the three weeks after the second shot in 12- to 39-year-olds.

ACIP will discuss the benefits of the mRNA vaccines versus the potential risk to adolescents and young adults from the heart condition, according to the agency’s agenda. 

Pfizer, whose vaccine has been authorized for use in Americans as young as 12, previously said it had not observed a higher rate of heart inflammation than would normally be expected in the general population.

Moderna had said it could not identify a causal association with the heart inflammation cases and its vaccine.

Although health officials in Israel have also determined that there is likely a link between vaccination and the heart inflammation, concerns about the more infectious Indian ‘Delta’ variant have prompted the country to urge 12-to 15-year olds get vaccinated. 

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. 

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