Panama City, FL –
(NEXSTAR) – Children, teens and young adults wondering if they should get a coronavirus vaccine may have heard of a new side effect to worry about: myocarditis.
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart and a very rare side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine. It appears most often in teens and young adults, especially boys, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Because myocarditis seems to occur after the second dose of the vaccine, other countries such as Hong Kong, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden have started recommending that healthy adolescents receive only one dose, the The New York Times reported.
Should we consider doing the same in the United States? Right now, experts say no for two main reasons.
First of all, the other countries that suggest a single dose for young people have much lower rates of COVID-19 cases.
“Where we are, unfortunately we are the leaders of COVID,” said Dr. Anjan Batra, professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine. The United States ranks first in the world for most cases and deaths. “If you had very few cases, you might find some kind of compromise. … I don’t know if the [one-dose] compromise is the answer here.
In countries like Hong Kong, the risk of contracting COVID is much lower than in the United States. If COVID is rare, you might feel more empowered to make decisions based on rare side effects. But if COVID is a real and current threat, you might not have that luxury.
Second – and even more important, Batra said – if parents are really worried about heart inflammation, they should be worried about COVID-19.
“There is a false assumption that COVID does not give you myocarditis. Myocarditis is much more severe with COVID than with the COVID vaccine. ”
Myocarditis can cause problems with the heart rhythm (beating too fast or too slow) or it can compress the blood vessels that supply the heart. Usually, myocarditis appears as a result of a viral infection, Batra explained. But research has shown it’s exceptionally rare because of the COVID vaccine.
“If you look at the numbers, the patients who get myocarditis from the vaccine are around 12 in a million,” Batra said. “The other thing to keep in mind is that those who get myocarditis or inflammation from the vaccine, for just about everyone, this is a temporary phenomenon that gets better.”
Batra said he sees something more concerning than myocarditis in his pediatric patients: MISC, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children.
“We see a lot of patients with this in our hospital,” he said. “The effects of this, which include myocarditis but are not limited to myocarditis, involve a significant dilation of the blood vessels that lead to the heart. It is much more dangerous. This has a much higher chance of death from this disease and long term consequences for the heart. ”
Batra said questions about COVID-19 and the vaccine have become an important part of his practice. “It’s even replaced cardiology now. Every parent and every child asks this question.
In medicine and in life, Batra says, nothing is 100 percent certain. It’s all a risk assessment, a cost-benefit analysis. He encourages his patients to read medical journals and verified studies to help them make their decisions. His two children were vaccinated as soon as they were eligible, he said.
For Batra, the risk of being unvaccinated or partially vaccinated against COVID poses greater risks to the heart health of children and adolescents than the vaccine.
Seattle health officer Dr Jeffrey Duchin agreed, telling the New York Times, “All of the data we have so far suggests that the disease itself is significantly worse than the side effects of the vaccine.”
CDC advise everyone 12 years and older receive both doses: “The known risks of COVID-19 disease and its related, possibly serious complications, such as long-term health problems, hospitalization and even death, far outweigh about the potential risks of having a rare adverse reaction to vaccination, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis.
Should young people only get 1 dose of the COVID vaccine? Source link Should young people only get 1 dose of the COVID vaccine?