Emergency. But rare. But emergency. But rare. But emergency …
Most reported cases of myocarditis and pericarditis are in men and happen days after the second coronavirus vaccine dose of Pfizer or Moderna.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group next week will hold an “emergency meeting” to review rare cases of heart inflammation following use of the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines.
The agency has documented 226 cases in people 30 years old and younger that meet its “working case definition” for myocarditis and pericarditis, though the agency is still reviewing over 200 additional reported cases in the age group.
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, according to the CDC, and pericarditis is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.
“In both cases, the body’s immune system causes inflammation in response to an infection or some other trigger,” according to the agency.
Most patients have fully recovered, though nearly 20% still reported symptoms like chest pain or had an unknown status as of late May. The majority of cases reported were in men.
The emergency meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices includes a discussion of the condition but does not include a scheduled vote for changing recommendations for the use of the vaccines.
The CDC last month said that most reported cases happen in males age 16 and older and typically within several days of receiving the second vaccine dose, though some reports came after the first dose.
“These reports are rare, given the number of vaccine doses administered, and have been reported after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), particularly in adolescents and young adults,” the agency said on its website.