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Risk of hospitalisation with heart inflammation up to 44 times higher after Covid vaccine 

A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature has found that the risk of being hospitalised with heart inflammation can be up to 44 times higher following receipt of a double dose of Covid-19 mRNA vaccines.

Researchers concluded that the study “provides strong evidence of an increased risk of myocarditis and of pericarditis in the week following vaccination against Covid-19 with mRNA vaccines in both males and females, in particular after the second dose of the mRNA-1273 [Moderna]vaccine

The study examined the vaccination status of all 1,612 hospital cases of myocarditis and 1,613 hospital cases of pericarditis in France between May 12th and October 31st 2021. The data showed that the risk of being hospitalised with myocarditis was 8.1 times higher in the week following a Pfizer second dose  and 30 times higher following a Moderna second dose.  

Breaking the findings down by age, elevated risks for heart inflammation were found in younger adults.

Following a second dose of the Moderna MRNa vaccine, the risk for males aged between 18-24 was 44 times higher – while it was 41 times higher for females in the same age group. 

The rate of myocarditis hospitalisation following vaccination among 18-24 year-old males was one every 5,900 second Moderna doses and one every 21,100 second Pfizer doses . Among 18-24 year-old females the rate was one every 18,700 second Moderna doses.

However the study noted that while the cases of myocarditis and pericarditis required hospitalization, they did not result in more severe outcomes than those unrelated to vaccination.

They also cautioned that while there was a trend of increased risks towards younger age groups it was important to note a significant risk was also found in males over 30 years to develop myocarditis and in females over 30 years to develop a pericarditis after vaccination.

The researchers explained that there were “several factors” that evidenced a causal relationship between the Covid-19 vaccines and the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis.

“First, the associations remained strong, even after adjusting for a history of these conditions or recent SARS-CoV-2 infection, and in a period during which most common respiratory viruses were not widely circulating.”

“Second, the time that elapsed between exposure to the vaccine and hospitalization was very short for both conditions, particularly after the second dose. “

“Third, in most cases, the associations did not persist after seven days following exposure.”

“Fourth, the stronger risk associated with the second dose and the mRNA-1273 vaccine, which contains a larger amount of mRNA, suggest a dose response relationship.” 

European Medicines Agency has reviewed the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis after Covid vaccinations during the  pandemic and they previously advised that the risk of both of these conditions after the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccinations are overall “very rare”, meaning that up to one in 10,000 vaccinated people may be affected. 

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