What you need to know about myocarditis and pericarditis

As a parent, guardian or caregiver, worrying about the health and safety of our children seems to be ever-present since the first day they come into our lives. For families deciding whether or not to vaccinate their children against COVID-19, understanding more about myocarditis and pericarditis might be helpful when deciding what is best for your child.

What are myocarditis and pericarditis?

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle. Pericarditis is an inflammation of the lining around the heart.

Who is most likely to experience these side effects?

  • Both conditions are uncommon side effects but have been reported in some patients after they received a COVID-19 mRNA vaccination (Moderna or Pfizer).
  • Cases occurred more often in males aged 12 to 39 than in females or older men.
  • The highest risk group is males 16 to 29 years of age.

Most people who develop one of these conditions after an mRNA vaccination recover quickly with minimal treatment.

COVID-19 infection puts the heart at greater risk than vaccination

Medical researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have studied these cases and determined the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is greater than the risk of developing one of these heart conditions after vaccination.

  • Myocarditis and pericarditis are more likely to occur from a COVID-19 infection than as a result of vaccination.
  • Heart damage from COVID-19 can be more severe than that from myocarditis or pericarditis after vaccination.

Vaccination is still the safest and most effective way to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from COVID-19 and a possible infection-related case of myocarditis or pericarditis. If you need additional information, please talk with your doctor or healthcare provider.

Learn more about myocarditis and pericarditis

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