Myocarditis and Pericarditis Following mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination

We have had many inquiries here at the Myocarditis Foundation asking about our position on the COVID-19 Vaccine and whether it is safe to take it. Our cardiologists have consistently encouraged patients to take the COVID-19 Vaccine, but ultimately defer to your personal cardiologists and physicians as they know you the best. They have consistently reported that the benefits outweigh the risks.

The information listed below is from the CDC website:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/myocarditis.html

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/myocarditis.html

The CDC and FDA held a meeting on June 10, 2021 with respect to the safety of the COVID-19 Vaccine in light of the number of cases of Myocarditis and Pericarditis found in those vaccinated with the mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer).

 

What You Need to Know:

  • More than 165 million people have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, and the CDC continues to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for any health problems that happen after vaccination.
  • Since April 2021, there have been increased reports to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting  System (VAERS) of cases of inflammation of the heart – called myocarditis and pericarditis – happening after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Moderna and Pfizer) in the United States.
  • These reports are rare, given the number of vaccine doses administered, and have been reported after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Moderna and Pfizer) particularly in adolescents and young adults.
  • The CDC and its partners are actively monitoring these reports, by reviewing data and medical records, to learn more about what happened and to see if there is any relationship to COVID-19 vaccination.
  •  Most patients who received care responded well to medicine and rest and quickly felt better. Limited outcome data suggest most patients (at least 81%) had a full recovery of symptoms.
  •  Cases reported to VAERS have occurred:
    • Mostly in male adolescents and young adults age 16 years or older
    • More often after getting the second dose of one of these two COVID-19 vaccines than after the first dose
    • Typically within several days after COVID-19 vaccination
  • Patients can usually return to their normal daily activities after their symptoms improve, and they should speak with their doctor about return to exercise or sports
  • The CDC continues to recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 12 years of age and older, given the greater risk of COVID-19 illness and related, possibly severe complications.
  •  Getting vaccinated is the best way to help protect yourself and your family from COVID-19.

 

Should I Still Get Myself or My Child Vaccinated?

The CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 12 years of age and older, given the risk of COVID-19 illness and related, possibly severe complications, such as long-term health problems, hospitalization, and even death. If you or your child has already gotten the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, it’s important to get the second dose unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.

The known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risks of myocarditis or pericarditis. Also, most patients with myocarditis and pericarditis who receive care responded well to medicine and rest and quickly felt better.

If you have concerns about COVID-19 vaccination, talk with your or your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic.

 

What Symptoms Should I Be On The Lookout For After COVID-19 Vaccination?

Be on the lookout for any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest Pain
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart

Seek medical care if you think that you or your child have any of these symptoms after COVID-19 vaccination.

 

Recommendations for Clinicians:

Report all cases of myocarditis and pericarditis post COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS.

Consider myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents or young adults with acute chest pain, shortness of breath, or palpitations. In this younger population, coronary events are less likely to be a source of these symptoms.

Ask about prior COVID-19 vaccination if you identify these symptoms, as well as relevant other medical, travel, and social history.

For initial evaluation, consider an ECG, troponin level, and inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. I the setting of a normal ECG, troponin and inflammatory markers, myocarditis or pericarditis are unlikely.

For suspected cases, consider consultation with cardiology for assistance with cardiac evaluation and management. Evaluation and management may vary depending on the patient age, clinical presentation, potential causes or practice preference of the provider.

For follow-up of patients with myocarditis, consult the recommendations from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

It is important to rule out other potential causes of myocarditis and pericarditis, particularly acute COVID-19 infection (e.g. PCR testing), prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (e.g. detection of SARAS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies), and other viral etiologies (e.g. enterovirus PCR and comprehensive respiratory viral pathogen testing).

If you have any health problems after vaccination, report them to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

 

COMING UP THIS WEEK:

There was a Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting scheduled for June 18, 2021 to update data, further evaluate myocarditis following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, and assess benefit-risk balance.

Due to the Juneteeth National Holiday, the meeting has been rescheduled to be included in their scheduled June 23-25, 2021 Meeting. It is a virtual meeting and no registration is required.

If you are interested in watching the webinar, please go to the ACIP website for further information.

For more information, contact the CDC at: 1-800-232-4636   (1-800-CDC-INFO)

TTY: 1-888-232-6348.   www.cdc.gov