CDC investigating heart inflammation following COVID-19 vaccine

National Coronavirus Coverage

FILE – In this Saturday, May 15, 2021, file photo, empty vials of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine lie in a box during a vaccine campaign in Ebersberg near Munich, Germany. Health authorities are trying to determine whether heart inflammation that can occur along with many types of infections could also be a rare side effect in teens and young adults after the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will hold an emergency meeting next week to discuss a higher than usual number of cases of heart inflammation reported following COVID-19 vaccinations.

The CDC has identified 226 reports of a heart condition called myocarditis following the shots in people younger than age 30. Normally, fewer than 100 cases would be expected for this age group.

The CDC said the condition seemed to occur more in males and more often following dose number two. It also typically happened within four days after a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine was given.

The vast majority of patients have recovered and 15 are still in the hospital.

A St. Louis cardiologist says these cases are very rare and represent a tiny fraction of the 130 million Americans who have been vaccinated with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.

“These cases so far are rare. They are self-limited which means that patients have been to the hospital, they’ve been sick, but they’ve returned home absolutely fine with normal cardiac function, at least to date. It’s very difficult to ascertain a causal link between the vaccine and developing myocarditis. We can only say that they were linked in time,” said Dr. Kory Lavine with Washington University Cardiologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Dr. Lavine stresses the benefits of getting vaccinated outweighs the risks.

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