Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted on Thursday that the agency has received reports that at least eight children between the ages of 5 and 11 who had gotten a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine suffered from heart inflammation.
CDC officials noted that more than 7 million doses of the vaccine have been administered to the age group by the time the heart data had been examined, noting that 5.1 million first doses and 2 million second doses had been given, Fox Business noted.
The newswire noted that the agency said the cases involved “a mild clinical course,” and all had been reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which was presented to the CDC’s expert advisers.
Last month, the federal health agency published an update after cases of myocarditis and pericarditis were discovered following COVID-19 vaccines. Pericarditis is an inflammation of the heart’s outer lining.
VAERS officials noted that symptoms for both heart conditions include shortness of breath and chest pain along with a sensation of a rapid heartbeat such as fluttering or pounding. The cases have been reported in young adults and male adolescents, reports noted.
Most of the cases have occurred within seven days after patients received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
“The CDC reports that most patients with the inflammation ‘felt better quickly’ after receiving medication and rest,” Fox Business reported, adding: “It is advised that myocarditis patients speak with a cardiologist before resuming exercise or sports.”
The health agency is continuing to recommend to all parents that they ensure their kids, 5 years old and up, get the vaccine despite the newly discovered cardiac side effects because the long-term viral risks outweigh the vaccine issues.
“The known risks of COVID-19 illness and its related, possibly severe complications, such as long-term health problems, hospitalization, and even death, far outweigh the potential risks of having a rare adverse reaction to vaccination, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis,” the CDC said.
The discovery comes after the CDC’s panel of health experts advised this week that the agency stop recommending the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after nine people developed blood clots and died following the vaccine.
While unusual, the unanimous decision nevertheless gives CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky a lot to consider in deciding whether or not to accept the recommendation.
To date, the CDC has been recommending all three vaccines because they were in short supply earlier this year when they first became available after being rapidly developed under a program initiated by then-President Donald Trump.
But, the expert panel noted, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — neither of which have been associated with blood clotting — are plentiful now, and besides, they are, by far, the most common vaccines administered.
Also, the expert panel noted that the J&J vaccine appears to be less effective against the now-spreading omicron variant, which itself has proven to be far less serious than previous variants and the original strain.
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