Health authorities in the US are planning to add another official warning about vaccination with mRNA-based COVID19 shots among teenagers and adolescents. Health experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that scientists have found a potential link between rare heart inflammation disorder and mRNA-based shots. However, they have said that the benefits of taking these shots still outweigh the risk. Experts from the CDC have conducted a meeting of experts to declare the decision of adding a warning about mRNA shots. Health experts have analyzed around 323 confirmed cases of myocarditis and pericarditis that is inflammation in the lining that surrounds the heart. These cases have taken place among people who have been younger than 30 years. Henry Bernstein, who is a pediatrician at Cohen’s Children Medical Center in New York and a member of the expert panel at the CDC, has said that the incident of heart inflammation is quite a rare event and when it takes place it is usually mild. He has said that he would still advise parents to get their adolescent children vaccinated with the shots. Health experts have around 309 people out of 323 who have been admitted to the hospitals. Nearly 295 people have been discharged from the hospitals. Nine people have remained in the hospitals and around two of them have required intensive care at the hospitals. In addition, experts have not been able to gather data on five cases.
Health experts have said that most cases of myocarditis have been among men. These cases have occurred after these men have received their second dose of the mRNA shot. No death has been reported due to the rare heart inflammation disorder as of now. The data have been collected after 50 million doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines have been given to people who are in the age group of 12 to 29 years in the US. Similar outcomes have been seen in Israel where the government has been advising parents to get their teenage children vaccinated amid the fear of the Delta variant spread. Health experts have said that though the number of cases is low, they are still quite high than what experts have expected in this age group. Scientists are investigating potential biological triggers as well that are linked to this disorder. A member of the COVID19 Vaccine Task Force at the CDC, Matthew Oster has said that myocarditis is a rare ailment but it is not a new disease, it has been there since the beginning. He has said that the suggested background rate of myocarditis is nearly 0.8 per 100000 children each year. Dr. Oster has said that the disorder is said to be caused by some viruses in a few cases, though there might be some biological triggers as well. He has claimed that it seems that mRNA vaccines might be a triggering factor for myocarditis.
The CDC has claimed that with every million-second doses that are given to teenagers who are in the age range of 12 to 17 years, nearly 5700 COVID cases, 215 hospitalizations, 71 ICU admissions, and two deaths in 120 days can be averted. Health experts expect that there might be around 56 to 69 cases of myocarditis due to vaccination. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC have chalked out a plan to include warning labels about heart inflammation linked to mRNA vaccines. These warning labels will show the potential risk of mRNA shots. Health officials have said that if somebody is diagnosed with myocarditis after the first dose, he or she will be asked to defer their second dose until more information is available. The government data have shown that though kids are less vulnerable to the SARS-CoV-2 virus as compared to adults, around 3000 kids below 18 years have been hospitalized with COVID19 in the US. Nearly 300 kids have lost their lives due to the disease. With vaccination, experts want to protect children not just from the virus but also want to protect them from the long-term effects of COVID19.