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Ask Dr. Nandi: CDC advisers to discuss heart problems in the young after COVID vaccination

CDC
Posted at 5:07 PM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-23 17:40:56-04

(WXYZ) — Advisers to the CDC are meeting today to discuss reports concerning mRNA vaccines and rare heart problems in young people.

The reports contain information regarding two types of heart inflammation - myocarditis and pericarditis. Now they may sound similar but they are not the same. And they affect the heart differently.

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle. And pericarditis is swelling and irritation of the thin membrane surrounding the heart.

Now the CDC has been tracking almost 800 reports. But not all are linked to the mRNA vaccines. As of May 31st, there have been 216 people diagnosed with one of these two types of heart conditions after getting the first shot of an mRNA vaccine. And 573 people have been diagnosed following a second dose. Over half of these people were between the ages of 12 and 24.

In my opinion, I think the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will look at the data, discuss the benefits and risks and then determine that the benefits outweigh the possible risks for adolescents and young adults. And here’s why. Pediatric cardiologists have treated these rare heart conditions linked to the vaccine. And they’ve also treated young people hospitalized with COVID-19. And by far, getting infected with the virus should worry parents more than getting the vaccine.

While myocarditis and pericarditis sound scary, most of the young people had a mild illness and their symptoms cleared up pretty quickly. But COVID-19 can be a long illness. And it can kill young people – thousands have died. And that’s heartbreaking because, with our vaccines, nearly every death from COVID is now preventable. That’s how effective the vaccines are.

But unfortunately, a recent CDC survey found that 25% of young adults are skipping the vaccine. The top reason was a lack of trust in the vaccines. I get that, but I strongly disagree.

Our vaccines were rigorously tested and were found to be safe and highly effective. And I feel pretty confident that the group of advisors to the CDC will stand behind the vaccines after reviewing the latest reports on these rare heart problems in young people.

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