Public Health Ontario (PHO) in Canada recently released report, Myocarditis and Pericarditis Following Vaccination with COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines in Ontario: December 13, 2020 to August 7, 2021, which found that the majority of COVID-19 vaccine recipients who went to the hospital for heart inflammation after the novel vaccine were young people.1
Adolescents and young adults who had received a COVID-19 vaccine made up more than half of the cases of myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle,1 and pericarditis, which is inflammation of the lining of the heart, that resulted in a hospital visit. Symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis include feeling short of breath, chest pain, fluttering or a pounding heart and malaise.2 3
Of the 204 reports4 (narrowed down from 314) 31 cases of heart inflammation occurred in children between the ages of 12-17, and 75 cases were in young adults 18-24 years of age. Boys were affected the most by the vaccine with 80 percent of the cases presenting in males5 and 69.6 percent occurring after the second shot.4 Young men aged 18-24 had the highest rates of heart problems post vaccination with a reporting rate of 37.4 per million doses following a second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s experimental COVID biologic BNT162b2 and 262.2 per million doses following Moderna/NIAID’s experimental COVID biologic mRNA-1273.4
Heart Problems More Frequently Reported After Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
Those who were given mRNA-1273 saw more heart-related problems than those who received BNT162b2, especially when mRNA-1273 was the second shot in the series. For boys aged 18 to 24 who received mRNA-1273 as the second shot, there was a seven times higher rate of recorded myocarditis and pericarditis than boys of the same age who received BNT162b2.5
In June 2021, PHO began requiring same day reporting of myocarditis or pericarditis post vaccination by Public Health Units following COVID-19 vaccination. Penny Sutcliffe, MD, medical officer of health with Public HealthSudbury & Districts said,
Although all jurisdictions, including Ontario, continue to recommend COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 12 years of age and older given the risk of COVID-19 illness and related, possibly severe complications, it is important for people to be informed. The investigations to date have not led Ontario to change any of its vaccine guidance. As part of our vaccination program, however, all immunizers are required to share information on known or potential vaccine side effects to ensure that consent to vaccination is informed. Immunizers constantly update this information as new data is available.6
Prior to this report, there were three reported cases of heart inflammation among adolescents in Ontario. As of Aug. 13, 2021, there were 485 confirmed cases of myocarditis or pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccinations throughout Canada. Symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis may appear as soon as a few minutes after vaccination to up to three months post vaccination.3
Israel Finds “Probable Link” Between Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine and Myocarditis
Problems with heart inflammation after COVID-19 shots, especially in young men, has been seen around the world. Israel, one of the most vaccinated countries in the world7 with 78 percent of its eligible citizens over the age of 12 vaccinated against COVID-19,8 found a “probable link” between BNT162b2 and myocarditis, predominately in boys aged 16 to 30. Researchers found that one out of 3,000 to 5,000 young men aged 16 to 24 may suffer from this condition after receiving a COVID-19 shot.9 Due to the harm occurring more often after the second dose, Israel is considering limiting the COVID-19 vaccine dosing to one shot in teens.2
Of the 202 recorded emergency room visits in this report, 140 followed the second COVID-19 shot and, of the 146 hospitalizations, 109 occurred after the second shot. PHO pointed out that myocarditis and pericarditis occurred in 0.01 percent to less than 0.1 percent of those vaccinated.
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Click here to view References:
1 Ontario Family Physicians. Myocarditis & Pericarditis after mRNA vaccination for COVID-19 what it is and what we know.
2 Favaro A. Ontario doctors probing three cases of heart inflammation in teens following mRNA vaccination. Coronavirus News June 11, 2021.
3 Ho S. Should my child get their second vaccine shot, despite heart inflammation risks? Coronavirus News Aug. 23, 2021.
4 Public Health Ontario. Myocarditis and Pericarditis Following Vaccination with COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines in Ontario: December 13, 2020 to August 7, 2021.
5 Furey A, More than 100 Ontario youth sent to hospital for vaccine-related heart problems: Report. Toronto Sun Sept. 3, 2021.
6 Public Health Sante Publique. Reports of myocarditis and pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in some jurisdictions. June 21, 2021.
7 Rate of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered worldwide as of September 3, by country or territory. Statista.
8 Estrin D. Highly Vaccinated Israel Is Seeing A Dramatic Surge In New COVID Cases. Here’s Why. NPR Aug. 20, 2021.
9 Vogel G. Couzin-Frankel J. Israel reports link between rare cases of heart inflammation and COVID-19 vaccination in young men. Science June 1, 2021.