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No, a rare side effect from COVID-19 vaccines does not increase chance of dying in next 10 years

There’s a false claim making the rounds on social media that says young myocarditis patients are at an increased risk of death ten years from now.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — There has been a lot of misinformation on social media – especially in the last week – regarding a rare side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine for young people.

10TV's Lindsey Mills takes a claim about a condition that causes the heart muscle to become inflamed to our team of experts.

THE CLAIM:

Patients who have the condition have a high risk of dying within 10 years. 

THE SOURCES:

  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics
  • OhioHealth's Doctor Joe Gastaldo
  • Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

THE ANSWER: 

False.

Here's what we found:

"There's never been a vaccine that gives you a toxic reaction,” said Dr. Gastaldo. “More than four weeks after receiving a vaccine, vaccines don't work that way."

According to the CDC, myocarditis is a form of heart disease where the heart is inflamed – making it harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. And -- Myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination is very rare.

Dr. Matt Oster serves as the director of Children's CORPS at Sibley Heart Center and says it's important to check the source of information when researching a claim: 

“It is important to understand the data that are being cited. That misinterpretation comes from a study from Mason et al that is not applicable to those with myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccine for a number of reasons: 

  • The average age in the Mason paper is 42, much older than the average age of those with myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Mason paper included only persons with significant heart failure (ejection fraction <45%). Heart failure is quite rare in myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Mason paper is from >25 years ago. Treatments have improved since then.”

As of Nov. 4, there were more than 1,700 VAERS reports of myocarditis and pericarditis. The CDC and FDA confirmed a little more than a thousand of those out of more than 440 million COVID vaccine doses given across the country.

"What we're seeing with those individuals who had COVID-19 vaccination and then developed myocarditis is that it reverses very quickly compared to other causes of myocarditis,” Dr. Adalja said.

"Myocarditis [and] pericarditis as an infectious disease doctor, something that we know is associated with many viruses, including influenza, and other common cold coronaviruses,” said Dr. Gastaldo.

In a statement this summer from the American Academy of Pediatrics co-signed by health leaders across the country reads in part, "myocarditis and pericarditis are much more common if you get COVID-19, and the risks to the heart from COVID-19 infection can be more severe."

"Often it's being linked to this 5-11 age group for where there really isn't a myocarditis risk. It's really late teens early 20s that's where we saw that and it's only in males. So people are taking the myocarditis risk that exists in a specific population and talking about the entire population as if it has the same risk and that's not correct,” said Dr. Adalja.

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Have something you’d like us to verify? Send us an e-mail to verify@10TV.com.

And if you have more questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, please send them our way. Text us your questions to 614-460-3345. You may see them answered live Thursday, Nov. 18 during our 5:30 p.m. newscast.

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