Can the vaccine have side effects? 1:01
(CNN Spanish) – In the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating the relationship between myocarditis and covid-19 vaccines with messenger RNA technology.
The study comes after some cases of myocarditis were reported among adolescents and young adults, about four days after the second dose of the vaccine.
In this episode, Dr. Elmer Huerta looks at what the report says and explains what inflammation of the heart or myocarditis is.
You can listen to this episode on Spotify or your favorite podcast platform or read the transcript below.
Hello, I am Dr. Elmer Huerta and this is your daily dose of information on the new coronavirus. Information that we hope will be useful to take care of your health and that of your family.
Messenger RNA Vaccines and Myocarditis
In the May 17 report of the Vaccine Safety Technical Working Group, belonging to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC, it is announced that a possible relationship between vaccination with messenger RNA vaccines is being investigated. and a rare inflammation of the heart, called myocarditis.
It is important to know that since the beginning of the vaccination program in the United States, the CDC authorities periodically review the safety data of the use of covid-19 vaccines in the real world.
According to the report, presentations were heard from various groups – including the Department of Defense, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, and the Vaccine Safety Data Link – on the occurrence of post-vaccination myocarditis cases. of messenger RNA.
The committee decided that there are relatively few reports of myocarditis to date. These cases appear to occur predominantly in adolescents and young adults. In addition, they are more common in men, after the second dose, and typically, within four days after vaccination.
According to the report, most of the cases appear to be mild and follow-up of the cases is ongoing.
What is myocarditis?
Let us remember that myocarditis – in the plural – are a group of diseases that have in common the affectation of the heart muscle, an organ that has the function of pumping blood to all the tissues of the body.
There are many causes of myocarditis, the most common being infections by various viruses, such as:
The flu or influenza, the coxsackie -also known as human foot-and-mouth disease-, the parvovirus, the cytomegalovirus, the adenovirus and others.
In addition to those viral causes, myocarditis can be caused by bacterial infections such as:
Lyme disease, Streptococci, Mycoplasmas and, Chlamydia.
Rarer causes are allergic reactions to certain medications, such as certain chemotherapy drugs, exposure to chemicals in the environment, such as heavy metals, infections due to fungi or parasites, radiation therapy treatment, autoimmune disorders, and cocaine use.
Symptoms of myocarditis
The most common symptoms are:
Chest pain similar to a heart attack,
fatigue and feeling faint, Fever, Headache, Muscle aches, Rapid breathing Rapid heart rate.
Let us now see what will be the procedure that the authorities will have to follow to determine if there is a relationship between the appearance of myocarditis and the administration of messenger RNA vaccines.
For this, it is important to remember – as we explained in the episodes of March 16 and 19 – what the incidence of a disease in a community means.
Recent cases of a certain disease that occur or are registered in a given community over a specific period of time are called incidence.
For example, in the case of myocarditis, it is estimated that each year, 10 to 20 people out of 100,000 develop viral myocarditis, adding up to approximately one and a half million cases in the world.
That means that for every 100,000 people living in a city, 10 to 20 of them will develop one of the symptoms described at some point in the year, seek medical attention in a hospital, and be diagnosed with myocarditis.
How will scientists determine if there is a relationship?
What the CDC epidemiologists and statisticians will have to do now is carefully review individual cases and determine if the number exceeds that baseline incidence of 10 to 20 cases per year.
So far, authorities say, the CDC’s safety monitoring system has found that myocarditis rates in the days following vaccination with messenger RNA vaccines have not differed from expected rates of myocarditis in the community.
However, the CDC says, the investigations will continue and a report is expected in the following days. It should be remembered that in the United States, according to data from the Academy of Pediatrics from states and territories that compile this type of information, there were more than 3.9 million cases of covid-19 in children until May 20.
Of these, more than 16,000 were hospitalized – a greater number than are hospitalized for influenza in an average year – and approximately 300 children died, making COVID-19 one of the top 10 causes of death in children since the beginning of the virus. pandemic.
That makes, remember the authorities, that the benefit of vaccination is much greater than the rarity of a possible myocarditis.
Do you have questions about the coronavirus?
Send me your questions on Twitter, we will try to answer them in our next episodes. You can find me at @DrHuerta.
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