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the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, the US CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on July 7 published an update on the use of mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines following its review of reports of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the thin tissue surrounding the heart) among some vaccine recipients. ACIP concluded that the benefits of vaccination (prevention of COVID-19 disease and associated hospitalization and death) outweigh the risks (expected myocarditis after vaccination) in all populations for which vaccination is currently recommended.

However, the committee noted the balance of benefits and risks vary by age and sex because myocarditis cases occurred predominantly among males less than 30 years old and the risk of complications from COVID-19 increase with age. For every 1 million second doses of mRNA vaccine administered to males ages 12-29 years, 11,000 COVID-19 cases, 560 hospitalizations, 138 ICU admissions, and 6 deaths due to COVID-19 could be prevented, compared with 39-47 expected myocarditis cases after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Among older males aged ≥30 years, the benefits increase, with 15,300 COVID-19 cases, 4,598 hospitalizations, 1,242 ICU admissions, and 700 deaths potentially prevented, compared with 3-4 expected myocarditis cases. The authors note their analysis did not include the possible benefit of preventing longer-term COVID-19 symptoms nor multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). ACIP emphasized the importance of informing providers and families about the benefits and risks of vaccination, including myocarditis, and monitoring for adverse events following vaccination.
Notably, the American Heart Association (AHA) on the same day published a scientific statement on the diagnosis and management of myocarditis in children in the journal Circulation. Though the statement was developed prior to the COVID-19 pandemicthe recommendations could be useful for healthcare providers in identifying and treating myocarditis/pericarditis among young people following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination or infection, as there currently is no standard treatment for either condition. With no alternatives to mRNA vaccines for adolescents available for the foreseeable future, no deaths or severe outcomes from myocarditis/pericarditis reported at the time of ACIP’s meeting, and about one-third of US COVID-19 cases occurring in people ages 12-29 in May 2021—many unvaccinated—most experts agree with the committee’s conclusion to continue recommending vaccination for all people aged 12 and older. Questions remain about whether reports of myocarditis/pericarditis among younger populations will impact vaccination rates, but many experts point out that potential future risks, posed by the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) or another possibly more virulent strain, should prompt parents to vaccinate their children in order to protect them and those around them.


  1. If the CDC says so it must be true.

  2. It’s experimental. YOU are the experiment.

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