*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
Following a special meeting of a vaccine advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the heads of the CDC and many leading U.S. medical organizations came out in strong support of COVID-19 vaccinations for young Americans.
At issue during Wednesday’s discussion were rare heart problems in young people who’ve received the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
Millions of young Americans 12 and older have received COVID vaccines. But as of May 31, 2021, the CDC said, 216 people had been diagnosed with myocarditis or pericarditis — inflammation of heart muscle or surrounding membrane — after one dose of either vaccine and 573 after the second dose. Most cases were mild, but 15 patients were still hospitalized as of that date, The New York Times reported.
After looking over the data, a consortium of health agencies said this in a joint statement:
“The facts are clear: This is an extremely rare side effect, and only an exceedingly small number of people will experience it after vaccination. Importantly, for the young people who do, most cases are mild, and individuals recover often on their own or with minimal treatment. In addition, we know that 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.”
“We strongly encourage everyone age 12 and older who are eligible to receive the vaccine under Emergency Use Authorization to get vaccinated,” the groups said. “Especially with the troubling Delta variant increasingly circulating, and more readily impacting younger people, the risks of being unvaccinated are far greater than any rare side effects from the vaccines. If you get COVID-19, you could get severely ill and be hospitalized or even die. Even if your infection is mild, you or your child could face long-term symptoms following COVID-19 infection such as neurological problems or diminished lung function.”