CDC calls emergency meeting on rare heart inflammation following the vaccine

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – The CDC announced Thursday that it will convene for an “emergency meeting” of its advisers on June 18th to discuss rare but higher-than-expected reports of heart inflammation following the second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

“Pericarditis actually only involves the outer sac of the heart. Myocarditis can actually affect not only the sac which is myopericarditis but it can also affect the heart muscle itself,” says Dr. Harish Manyam, Erlanger Cardiologist. 

Overall, 226 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis have been confirmed in people younger than age 30-following their receipt of the vaccine. 

A local physician says pericarditis and myocarditis are fairly common and can be brought on by viral illnesses such as the coronavirus. 

“What we are unsure about is do patients have coronavirus as well because we know the Coronavirus itself can cause this. Sometimes people get sick and go get the vaccine as a result of being sick even though we do not recommend it. It’s unknown if this is a higher reported incident because people get sick, they know there’s coronavirus outside and they go get the vaccine,” says Dr. Manyam.

Health officials say the accounts of pericarditis and myocarditis  are reportedly higher in males.

Although the complication is rare, it is important to monitor symptoms after receiving the Covid-19 shot. 

“Anyone who has chest pain or shortness of breath that persists over a day or two needs to make sure they notify their physician and get in to see someone right away,” says Dr. Manyam.

Despite the increased number of reported myocarditis cases among young people, no major red flags have been identified.

“With the data that’s out there I would not advise anyone not to get the shot, I think that’s important. We have seen a clear decline in Coronavirus cases in our region and nationally as a result of getting the vaccine. People that have Pericarditis and Myocarditis-the vast majority of them recover with minimal to any treatment,” says Dr. Manyam.

For more information about the possible link between heart inflammation and the Covid-19 vaccine click here

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