Rare heart problems in young people who’ve received the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines will be discussed Wednesday at a meeting of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisers.
As of May 31, 216 people had been diagnosed with myocarditis or pericarditis after one dose of either vaccine, and 573 after the second dose. Most cases were mild, but 15 patients were still hospitalized as of that date, The New York Times reported.
The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine was linked to about twice as many cases as the second dose of the vaccine made by Moderna.
More than half of those heart problems occurred in people aged 12-24, even though that age group accounted for only 9% of the millions of doses given to Americans.
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle and pericarditis is inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart.
“We look forward to more clarity regarding the potential risk of myocarditis after mRNA vaccines to increase vaccine confidence and vaccination rates,” Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chair of the Committee on Infectious Diseases at the American Academy of Pediatrics, told the Times.
Still, the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the risks of possible problems, experts say.
Along with reassessing the use of the vaccines in teens and young adults, recommendations for the CDC committee may help guide decisions about immunizing children younger than 12 when vaccines become available for them, the Times reported.
The CDC reported this month that the number of COVID hospitalizations among adolescents in the United States was about three times higher than hospitalizations linked to influenza over three recent flu seasons, the Times reported.
As of June 10, nearly 17,000 children in 24 states had been hospitalized for COVID-19 and 330 children had died, according to data collected by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
More information: There’s more on myocarditis at the CDC.
SOURCE: The New York Times