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WHO investigating cases of vaccinated teens with heart inflammation

Published May 27, 2021


Vaccine safety experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) are reviewing several cases of heart muscle inflammation that have been reported among some teenagers and young adults who had recently received their second shot of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The Covid-19 subcommittee of the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) said the cases appear to be mild and most of the individuals have recovered.

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Myocarditis is usually caused by a viral infection and is an inflammation of the heart muscle and the lining that surrounds the heart. While it can cause serious illness, it is frequently mild and responds well to treatment.

Symptoms of myocarditis may include fatigue, fainting, breathing difficulties, or abnormal heart rhythms.

“These cases seem to occur predominantly in adolescents and young adults, more often in males than females, more often after the second dose of the vaccine, and typically within 4 days after vaccination,” read a statement from the WHO.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared the information in a report last week. However, it did not clarify how many people were affected and where they were from.

“Information about this potential adverse event should be provided to clinicians to enhance early recognition and appropriate management of persons who develop myocarditis symptoms following vaccination,” according to the CDC report.

The WHO subcommittee has encouraged health professionals to report all events of myocarditis and other adverse events observed with Covid-19 vaccines.

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“More rigorous studies using alternative data sources and more robust study designs including comparison of vaccinated and unvaccinated populations are needed to assess a potential causal association between the event and the vaccine,” according to the subcommittee.

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