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SickKids reports seeing post-vaccine myocarditis in kids

Health officials taking a closer look at heart inflammation in teen vaccine recipients

Author of the article:

Anthony Furey

Publishing date:

Jun 23, 2021  •  June 23, 2021  •  2 minute read  •  123 Comments

In this file photo, a 15-year-old receives a first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccination clinic at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA on May 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, Calif.
In this file photo, a 15-year-old receives a first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccination clinic at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA on May 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON /AFP via Getty Images

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SickKids Hospital has seen a handful of cases of myocarditis — inflammation of the heart — in youth following vaccination for COVID-19, the Sun has learned.

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The news comes as health organizations around the world — including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) — are investigating the issue of heart risks from youth receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

SickKids Hospital has seen “approximately five” cases and, according to a source, McMaster Children’s Hospital has had at least two youth hospitalized for it.

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario has not yet confirmed whether they have had any such cases or not.

“Patients with myocarditis may be seen at SickKids in a variety of ways, including through the emergency department or referrals to outpatient clinics,” explained Jessamine Luck, a spokesperson for SickKids, in an email to the Sun.

“As the case definition continues to evolve, precise numbers are unclear, but this condition remains rare.”

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All of the patients responded well to treatment and most did not require actual hospital admission, Luck added.

Treatment includes over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.

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While the extent of heart conditions among youth is currently unclear, a report recently submitted to the Israeli Ministry of Health concluded the risk of developing a heart issue post-vaccine ranged from 1 in 3000 to 1 in 6000 among men aged 16 to 24.

The CDC is planning what they described as an “emergency meeting” to discuss heart inflammation in teens and the World Health Organization currently says children should not be vaccinated “for the moment” due to a lack of sufficient evidence weighing the risks versus benefits.

“Really you’re giving the kids the vaccine to protect another group of people, the adults,” says Dr. Neil Rau, an infectious diseases physician based out of Halton Healthcare.

“You’re making the kids go through a process that is of minimal benefit to them with a very small risk of something bad.”

Rau points out that the discussion for many experts has now shifted to how instead of vaccinating children, Canada and other developed nations should consider giving vaccine doses to high-risk people in developing countries.

So far, no vaccine is approved for young children in Canada and only one vaccine, Pfizer, is approved for youth in the 12 to 17 age category.

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