U.S. health officials are examining reports that show a stronger link than previously thought between the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and a condition that causes heart inflammation.
The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will look into new data from Canada pointing to a higher risk of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle usually caused by a viral infection, primarily in men under 30 who received the Moderna vaccine, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
The Canadian data suggested that the Moderna vaccine poses a 2.5 times higher risk of causing the condition than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Both vaccines take two shots and use the same mRNA technology to spur an immune response to COVID-19.
Federal health officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the data is far from conclusive, telling the Washington Post that “the data are not slam bang.”
Myocarditis following vaccination is still very rare, though the CDC said that federal health experts “are actively monitoring these reports, including reviewing data and medical records, to learn more and understand any relationship to COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.”
The FDA added a warning label to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in June about the potential increased risk of myocarditis after receiving the shots. Vaccine experts at the CDC said at the time that the risk of experiencing heart inflammation due to a COVID-19 diagnosis is much higher than the risk due to getting the shots.
“Importantly, for the young people who do [experience it after vaccination], most cases are mild, and individuals recover often on their own or with minimal treatment,” a joint statement co-signed by the Department of Health and Human Services, American Heart Association, and 16 others said. “In addition, we know that myocarditis and pericarditis are much more common if you get COVID-19, and the risks to the heart from COVID-19 infection can be more severe.”
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Original Author: Cassidy Morrison