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COVID-19: heart problems in young people associated with two vaccines | Coronavirus

COVID-19: heart problems in young people associated with two vaccines | Coronavirus

The American health authorities are still working to update their recommendations for these vaccines, in particular by advising to suspend the administration of the second dose for people developing, after the first, myocarditis, that is to say an inflammation of the muscle. cardiac.

Some 300 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the heart) were examined and presented to independent experts on Wednesday at a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Vaccinations (ACIP).

It met at the request of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the country’s leading federal public health agency, which analyzed information entered into a public system that allowed anyone to report health problems afterwards. vaccination.

As of June 11, 323 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis have been confirmed in people 29 years of age or younger vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna products, which are based on messenger RNA technology.

In the United States, Pfizer’s vaccine is licensed from age 12 and Moderna’s vaccine from age 18 for the time being.

These cases most often occurred after the second dose of the vaccine, and symptoms usually started only a few days after the injection.

Of these patients, 309 were hospitalized, and nine remain so today. Overall, 80% were cured at the time of their reporting. Most of them are men (men are more affected by this disease in general).

Reassuringly, the data shows that patients are generally recovering from symptoms and doing well, said in a presentation Tom Shimabukuro, head of the CDC. No deaths have been confirmed at this time.

148 cases are still under study.

Profits surpass the risks, according to experts

As of June 11, more than 50 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines had been given to people aged 12 to 29 in the United States, according to data presented during the meeting.

If these cases therefore seemed very rare compared to the number of people vaccinated, their number was higher than expected for this age group.

Data available to date suggest a probable link between cases of myocarditis and pericarditis and messenger RNA vaccines in adolescents and young adults, said Grace Lee, member of the CDC, during a presentation.

Health authorities are therefore working to update their recommendations in the light of these discussions. For people who develop myocarditis after receiving a first dose of the vaccine, they consider recommending that the second dose be withheld pending further information.

In the case of pericarditis after the first dose, they still think of recommending the administration of the second, but only after the heart has fully recovered. Some independent experts, however, criticized this second proposal, considering it unwise.

All the experts, however, expressed their agreement with the conclusion of the CDC : the benefits of vaccination always clearly outweigh the risks, according to documents published online by the agency.

For example, for every million boys aged 18 to 24 vaccinated, it is estimated that vaccines prevent 530 hospitalizations and three deaths from COVID-19, while they are likely to cause around 50 cases of myocarditis. .

Cases in Israel and France

Although teens and young adults are at lower risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19, more than 2,600 people between the ages of 0 and 29 have died from it in the United States, according to data from health officials.

The risk-benefit ratio, however, may change for certain age groups as more cases of myocarditis are analyzed, and CDC said they continued to be on the alert.

Myocarditis is a rare disease, which experts believe is usually triggered by a virus. The most common symptom is chest pain, and it is often treated by administering anti-inflammatory drugs or providing oxygen support as needed.

The first cases of myocarditis after vaccination were first reported in Israel, where the immunization campaign was faster than in the majority of countries. A few cases have also been detected in France.

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