The World Health Organization has announced there is a “likely” link between the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines and “very rare” cases of myocarditis and pericarditis.
These cases occurred more often in younger men and after the second dose of the vaccine, typically within a few days of vaccination.
The WHO’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) made the statement following recent reports from the US of 40.6 myocarditis cases per million second mRNA doses among males and 4.2 cases per million among females in the 12-29 age bracket.
For persons over 30 years of age, the reporting rates were 2.4 and 1.0 per million second doses, respectively, for males and females.
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and pericarditis is an inflammation of the lining that surrounds the heart.
While they can lead to serious illness, they are often mild and respond well to conservative treatment.
The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) also reviewed the latest data from Europe at its recent meeting on 5-8 July 2021, and has confirmed that there is a plausible causal relationship between myocarditis and the mRNA vaccines.
The benefits of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the risks in reducing hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 infections according to the GACVS however.
They advised vaccinated individuals to seek immediate medical attention if they develop symptoms indicative of myocarditis or pericarditis such as new onset and persisting chest pain, shortness of breath, or palpitations following vaccination.
The group also encouraged all health professionals to report all events of myocarditis and other adverse events observed with these and other vaccines.
A recent case of a suspected lung clot in one vaccinated Irish male was found to have went unreported to the Health Products Regulatory Authority by medical staff however, as they explained Irish clinicians were under no legal obligation to report suspected adverse reactions to Covid-19 vaccines.