An emergency meeting of a CDC advisory group is scheduled for next week to investigate reports of heart inflammation in teenagers who got the COVID-19 vaccination.
According to the CDC, 226 confirmed occurrences of myocarditis have been documented in persons under 30 who got Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations.
Myocarditis is typically transient and resolves with treatment and monitoring, but the CDC is investigating these instances to determine whether there is a relation to immunization.
Dr. Tom Shimabukuro of the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office said the number of cases is “imbalanced,” but he told an FDA advisory group that additional facts needed to be validated. “Based on the backdrop, the known background rates that are reported in the literature, the observed reports are beyond the predicted,” he told an FDA advisory group last week. “Because, once again, these are preliminary findings, the comparison is a little akin to apples and oranges. Not all of them will be accurate reports of myocarditis or pericarditis,” He continued.
Although the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only one licensed for use in children under the age of 18 in the United States, authorities in both the United States and Europe are concerned about the possibility of myocarditis and pericarditis. The CDC released a letter to healthcare professionals early in June, stating that there have been reports of a rise in myocarditis and pericarditis following the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
The vaccination safety monitoring system received more than 800 unconfirmed cardiac issues, but the CDC is especially worried about persons under the age of 30. The organization reports that 226 confirmed instances of myocarditis and pericarditis in that age range, which is more than typical. At its meeting next week, the CDC advisory group will receive an update on those findings.
The CDC still advises that everyone over the age of 12 gets vaccinated against COVID-19. Still, anybody with chest discomfort, shortness of breath, or a fast heartbeat within a week following vaccination should consult a doctor.
While the side effects are still considered rare among the millions of people who have received the vaccines, it is more common than the number of people who are expected to develop the condition in the general population, which is why the CDC and other experts are investigating the possibility of a link to the vaccine.
Independent specialists who advise the CDC and FDA are deliberating on the dangers and advantages of making vaccinations available to children. They want to make sure that, even as the country aims to vaccinate more people to achieve herd immunity, there is enough evidence to assure that the advantages of vaccination exceed any potential adverse effects.
COVID-19 vaccinations have been shown in clinical studies to be safe and effective against the virus in adults. After a clinical trial demonstrated it safe in teenagers, Pfizer’s vaccine is now approved for youngsters aged 12 and above. According to the experts, there is no reason for any immunizations to affect puberty or fertility.
Meanwhile, tests evaluating Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in children under 12 are underway, resulting in autumn. However, despite the necessity of achieving herd immunity, FDA advisers stated this week that there is no reason to accelerate studies in young children.
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