SAN ANTONIO – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s data released this week shows more than 300 young men between 12 to 39 years of age reported heart inflammation as a result of receiving their second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
Pediatrician Mandie Tibball Svatek with UT Health San Antonio and University Hospital said patients need to keep the data in perspective when they hear about this new side effect.
She said myocarditis is the inflammation of the muscle in the heart and pericarditis is the inflammation of the sack surrounding the heart. Both, Svatek said, can also be a side effect of COVID-19 more closely associated with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children or MIS-C.
“You’ll see that usually two to four weeks after COVID-19 infection. And we’ve seen a couple of cases here affecting children from that standpoint,” she said.
Anyone who’s hesitant about getting the vaccine following the data released by the CDC also needs to take into account the effects of the virus and its different variants, according to Svatek. She said the risk in getting myocarditis and pericarditis from a vaccine is still low.
“That risk to not vaccinate isn’t a risk that you should be taking. You should be vaccinating because we know the risk from myocarditis and pericarditis is low associated with the vaccine,” she said.
She says it’s important that everyone stays in tune with the latest data and studies released, as information changes very rapidly since COVID-19 is still so new.