Data suggests 'likely' link between COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, rare heart issues in teens, CDC panel says


A CDC advisory panel suggested a likely link between mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and rare reports of heart inflammation in younger age groups.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical (VaST) Work Group, which presented during the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting Wednesday, said the “data available to date suggest likely association of myocarditis with mRNA vaccination in adolescents and young adults.” The group noted myocarditis most often appeared after the second dose, which was similar to data reported through VAERS.

“It does appear that mRNA vaccines may be a new trigger for myocarditis yet it does have some different characteristics…” said Dr. Matthew Oster, MPH, CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force during the panel meeting Wednesday.

Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the Immunization Safety Office at the CDC, noted 484 preliminary reports of myocarditis and pericarditis among vaccinated people under 30 as of June 11 against a backdrop of over 27 million administered doses. Of the total, 323 met CDC’s case definitions for myocarditis and/or pericarditis, 309 of whom were hospitalized, 295 were discharged at the time of analysis and at least 79% recovered from symptoms. Nine remained in hospital care, with two in intensive care, and 14 weren’t hospitalized.

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“We’re observing this in younger age groups, mainly in people in the teens and early twenties and observing it more in males compared to females,” Shimabukuro said.

Chest pain was the most common presenting symptom, followed by dyspnea, or difficulty breathing.

The panel is still investigating more than 140 preliminary reports to confirm myocarditis or pericarditis through medical records.

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