Cases of an inflammation of the heart muscle known as myocarditis have been reported after receiving COVID-19 shots, mostly in young men after the second dose of the mRNA vaccines.
When myocarditis symptoms, such as chest pain and rapid or irregular heartbeats, do occur after vaccination, they usually resolve quickly, suggests a report of a small study published in the journal Circulation. Doctors tracked seven male patients, ages 19 to 39, who were hospitalized for myocarditis-like illness not long after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by either Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna – the two mRNA vaccines – or Johnson & Johnson.
All recovered and left the hospital after two to four days of treatment. Study co-author Dr. Christopher deFilippi of the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute in Fairfax, Virginia, noted that in his health system, which represents about 2 million patients, myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination has been a “rare event” and “fortunately so far associated with a benign outcome.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week said reports of the heart condition occurred at a rate of 12.6 cases per million people who received either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, a higher rate than would be expected in the general population.
However, deFilippi’s team advised that given the dangers of COVID-19, even for younger adults, “the risk-benefit decision for vaccination remains highly favorable.”