The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) said Wednesday that there is a “probable association” of “mild” cardiac inflammation in adolescents and young adults following vaccination with a COVID mRNA vaccine and a warning statement is warranted.
According to a report by the COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical Working Group (VaST), the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis after vaccination with mRNA injections in adolescents and young adults is markedly higher after the second dose and in males.
“The clinical presentation of myocarditis cases after vaccination has been distinct, occurring most often within a week after dose two, with chest pain as the most common presentation,” said Dr. Grace Lee , co-chair of VaST.
There have been more than 1,200 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis in 16- to 24-year-olds who received a COVID mRNA vaccine, according to a series of slide presentations released Wednesday at the ACIP meeting.
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle that can lead to cardiac arrhythmia and death. According to researchers at the National Organization for Rare Diseases, myocarditis can result from infections, but “most commonly, myocarditis is the result of the body’s immune reaction to the initial heart damage.”
Pericarditis is often used interchangeably with myocarditis and refers to inflammation of the pericardium, a thin membrane surrounding the heart.
According to the CDC, men under the age of 30 make up the majority of cases and most cases appear to be mild. Of the 295 people who developed the condition and have been discharged, 79% have recovered but that does not mean there was no damage, according to the presentation. Nine people were hospitalized, two in intensive care as of June 11, according to the CDC.
The agency said that as of June 11, there have been 267 reported cases of myocarditis or pericarditis after receiving one dose of the mRNA vaccines and 827 cases reported after two doses. There are an additional 132 cases where the number of doses received is unknown.
Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC’s Office of Immunization Safety, said in a presentation that data from one of the agency’s safety monitoring systems, Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), suggest a rate of 12.6 cases per million in the three weeks after the second dose in 12- to 39-year-olds.
Dr. Meryl Nass , an internal medicine physician, pointed out several flaws in the data used during the ACIP presentation:
As of now, two main ways in which the rate of myocarditis was minimized [during the presentation] were by bulking up those 39 years and older, even though the highest rates [of myocarditis] are found in younger children. This dilutes the rate. The other method was to include only a very narrow window of time after vaccinations began in the 12- to 15-year-old age group, thus omitting the vast majority of second doses, which is when approximately 75% or more of myocarditis cases occur. In addition, the genders were sometimes mixed. And rates in girls are much lower than in boys .
Dr. Meryl Nass
During the presentation , Dr. Megan Wallance performed a risk/benefit analysis comparing myocarditis cases with COVID hospitalization rates in people aged 12-29 years.
“The problem with their analysis is that now the rate of myocarditis used is too low. But the risk of COVID is magnified,” Nass said.
Nass further questioned why ACIP did not include any of the nearly 6,000 deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in the risk group when determining risk and benefit.
During the presentation, a CDC spokesperson said that vaccine considerations for people with a history of myocarditis and pericarditis will be updated:
People with a history of pericarditis will be encouraged to receive any FDA-licensed COVID vaccine.
Anyone with a history of myocarditis will be encouraged to receive an FDA-licensed COVID vaccine if their heart has recovered.
Individuals with a history of myocarditis after the first dose of an mRNA vaccine will be encouraged to postpone the second dose until more information is known, but if the heart has healed, a second dose may be considered.
CDC officials said they are gathering more data to fully understand the potential risks, how to manage them, and whether there are long-term problems.
CDC criticized for exaggerating COVID risks to children
During the public comment session , they chastised the CDC and its advisory committee for taking the position that the benefits of experimental COVID vaccines outweigh the risks in adolescents, when adolescents have a relative zero risk of dying from COVID and have a very low level. risk of experiencing adverse events .
According to the CDC, hospitalization rates for adolescent COVID in the 12- to 17-year-old age group was 2.1 per 100,000 in early January 2021 and 1.3 per 100,000 in April. Of 204 hospitalizations assessed by CDC from March 1, 2020, through April 24, 2021, no deaths occurred.
According to CDC data , the mortality rate among adolescents aged 0 to 17 years who contract COVID and are subsequently hospitalized is 0.7%, with many experiencing mild or no symptoms . The death rate from COVID in all adolescent age categories is less than 0.1%, according to the CDC.
Two articles published May 19 in the journal Hospital Pediatrics found that pediatric hospitalizations for COVID were accounted for by at least 40%, which has potential implications for national figures used to justify vaccinating children .
Another study , referenced by a public commentator, showed that in many cases the diagnosis of COVID was incidental to the underlying reason the patient was hospitalized, meaning there was no documentation of COVID symptoms prior to hospitalization.
As of June 11, considering only myocarditis and pericarditis, there have been 197 reports in 30- to 39-year-olds, 392 reports in 19- to 29-year-olds, and 279 reports in 18-year-olds or younger. Looking at the Harvard Pilgrim study, which states that less than 1% of adverse events were reported to VAERS, it is reasonable to assume that these numbers are much higher than reported. From today’s meeting here, we heard that there have been over 1,200 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis, primarily in people under 30 years of age. The numbers are growing rapidly. This should sound alarm bells for all of you … .
William Houston, an associate with a public research organization focused on public health and safety, said during public comment that the CDC is withholding VAERS data and delaying the release of adverse event reports. The actual numbers, Houston estimated, are 3 to 14 times higher than what has been made public to date.