Top Mass Docs Respond to Rare Heart Inflammation

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BOSTON (State House News Service) — Several top Massachusetts doctors said they "remain confident" in the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported rare heart inflammations in adolescents who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

Since April, the CDC logged more than a thousand reports of cases in the United States of heart inflammation -- known as myocarditis and pericarditis -- happening after people received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.

"Although instances of heart inflammation are incredibly rare – the CDC reports 389 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis in 12- to 24-year-olds, while nearly 21 million people in this age group have received a COVID-19 vaccine - the issue warranted and received rigorous scientific study," Massachusetts Medical Society President Dr. Carole Allen and Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics President Dr. Lloyd Fisher said in a joint statement.

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"After review of the latest information available, it was clear that the benefits of vaccination in this age group far outweigh the small risk of this very rare side effect." CDC said confirmed cases have occurred in mostly male adolescents and young adults age 16 years or older, more often after getting a second dose, and within several days after the vaccination.

"Patients can usually return to their normal daily activities after their symptoms improve. They should speak with their doctor about return to exercise or sports," the CDC said. "CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 12 years of age and older, given the risk of COVID-19 illness and related, possibly severe complications."

Written by Chris Van Buskirk/SHNS

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