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Coronavirus

Can the covid-19 vaccine cause heart problems?

CDC is examining isolated cases of myocarditis after some patients experience issues after vaccination. Health experts warn against inciting panic before a scientific connection is made. 

CDC is examining isolated cases of myocarditis after some patients experience issues after vaccination. Health experts warn against inciting panic before a scientific connection is made.
PRAKASH SINGHAFP

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the Pfizer & BioNTech vaccine for those between the ages of twelve and fifteen in mid-May. A few short weeks later, the CDC is looking into possible cardiac-related issues in teenagers and young adults after vaccination.

The CDC announced on 17 May that they were investigated several cases of myocarditis in some patients who had received a covid-19 vaccine. To date, the experts have not linked these issues to vaccination and the relationship is solely circumstantial. Additionally, many public health experts are warning against speaking out against vaccines until more data is collected. In an interview with the New York Times, Dr. Celine Gounder an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital Center said that “It’s more likely for something like that to happen by chance, because so many people are getting vaccinated right now.

The US health authority released details on the patient profile of those who have been impacted. In most cases the issues presented in male adolescents and young adults, and usually symptoms presented after the second dose within four days of vaccination.

What is myocarditis?

Myocarditis is inflammation in the heart that can limit the heart’s ability to pump blood through the body and cause an abnormal heartbeat. The issue is normally caused after a viral, parasitic, bacterial, or fungal infection and can signal heart failure or a heart attack.

What are the symptoms?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms to look out for include, chest pain, rapid or abnormal heart rhythms, shortness of breath, fluid retention with swelling, and fatigue. Symptoms in children present a bit differently and can include fainting and fever, in addition to those in adults.

While severe side effects from the virus tend to cause hesitancy, one risks much more severe health impacts from being infected with covid-19. In more recent weeks, more research has been released on long-covid -- those who suffer deliberating effects for an extended period of time after testing positive for the virus. Symptoms of long-covid according to the CDC include “fast beating or pounding heart,” “difficulty thinking or concentrating,” “depression or anxiety,” and many other issues. These issues are being faced by people of all ages, “even if the illness was mild, or they had no symptoms.”