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