What is it about?

Many cases of “myocarditis”, or the inflammation of heart muscles, have been reported in teens soon after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s important to know how frequent these side effects are and how serious they can be. Thus, the authors of a study gathered and analyzed data on teens and young adults who may have suffered myocarditis after vaccination. To this end, they checked the medical records prior to July 2021 from 26 large health centers in North America. They found that 139 teens had been admitted with symptoms or diagnostic results hinting at myocarditis. Besides splitting these patients according to probable or confirmed myocarditis, the researchers checked their diagnostics, what treatments they received, and what the course of their recovery was like.

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Why is it important?

Because COVID-19 vaccines have emerged only recently, information related to any potential side effects they might cause is not fully known. The statistics presented in this study paint a clearer picture for myocarditis, which mostly appeared two or three days after vaccination. The results are encouraging because even though some teens had confirmed myocarditis, almost all of the 139 cases recovered quickly. Moreover, most didn’t need complex medical interventions; for over half of them, basic drugs were enough. Most importantly, none of the patients died. More studies will be needed to better understand why the vaccine can sometimes cause myocarditis in teens. However, since most cases have been mild, they should not worry. KEY TAKEAWAY: Despite the risk for mild myocarditis, the benefits of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the drawbacks.

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This page is a summary of: Clinically Suspected Myocarditis Temporally Related to COVID-19 Vaccination in Adolescents and Young Adults: Suspected Myocarditis After COVID-19 Vaccination, Circulation, February 2022, Wolters Kluwer Health, DOI: 10.1161/circulationaha.121.056583.
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