Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) can cause heart inflammation in young people (16- to 24-year-olds) after receiving the second dose. Also Read: FDA warns against use of Medtronic’s HeartWare device for patients with end-stage heart failure
What is heart inflammation: Inflammation is the body’s immune system’s response to an irritant. However, inflammations don’t always help the body. In some diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system fights against the body’s own cells. Inflammation in the heart leads to severe damage and can lead to serious problems. There are three main types of heart inflammation: endocarditis, myocarditis, and pericarditis. Also Read: Cancer treatment: Nanobiotix and LianBio team up, expands therapeutic possibilities for patients with radioenhancer NBTXR3 therapy
- Endocarditis: Usually caused by infection, Endocarditis is the inflammation of the inner lining of the heart’s chambers and valves (endocardium).
- Myocarditis: It is the inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium) and is caused by viral infection.
- Pericarditis: It is the inflammation of the lining surrounding the heart (the pericardial sac) and often causes sharp chest pain
Cases: More than expected numbers of heart inflammation cases have been reported following COVID-19 vaccine dosages of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Following the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines of the two companies, CDC has identified 226 reports that might meet its “working case definition” of myocarditis and pericarditis. Also Read: Weight Loss: It will now be easier to shed extra pounds after FDA’s nod of approval to anti-obesity drug ‘Wegovy’
- Recovery: The majority of people have reportedly improved. However, of all the cases, 41 still had symptoms, 15 are still getting treated in hospitals, and 3 are in the ICU.
- Nearly 130 million Americans have taken either Pfizer- BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus doses
What’re they saying: Dr Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said, “We still don’t know whether this is truly related to the vaccine”. Adding that the “handful” of cases were “very mild, lasting a day or two”.
Dr Tom Shimabukuro of CDC’s Immunization Services Division said, “It’s a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison because, again, these are preliminary reports. Not all these will turn out to be true myocarditis or pericarditis reports”.