According to data from two safety monitoring systems, there has been a higher than expected number of young men experiencing heart inflammation after their second dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. The information was released by the CDC on Thursday.

After Israel’s Health Ministry had reported that their was a potential link between the Pfizer COVID vaccine and and the heart inflammation in young men the CDC began to investigate cases where there have been similar reports. However the CDC is not confirming if there is a definite link between the vaccine and cases of myocarditis or pericarditis. The CDC has also stated that most individuals have recovered and only a few required hospitalization.

Over 50 percent of the cases reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine were between the ages of 12-24. That age group only accounted for 9 percent of doses administered. A majority of the cases reported occurred within a week of receiving the second dose.

283 cases were reported between the ages of 16-24 while the expectation was that there would only have been between 10-102 cases reported.

The average age of patients who experienced the inflammation after the second shot was 24 and just under 80 percent of those cases were male.

An other reporting system, Vaccine Safety Datalink also noted an increase in reports of inflammation in people between the ages of 16-39 after their second dose.

While Pfizer supports the CDC’s assessment of heart inflammation cases it also noted, “the number of reports is small given the number of doses administered.”

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“It is important to understand that a careful assessment of the reports is ongoing and it has not been concluded that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines cause myocarditis or pericarditis,” – Statement from Pfizer

The CDC will hold a meeting of its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to evaluate the risk next Thursday.

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