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COVID-19 vaccine safe for those with previous myocarditis

Friday March 18th 2022

The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe for individuals who have a history of myocarditis, a conference has heard.

A small study presented at ESC Acute CardioVascular Care 2022, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), follows reports of rare cases of myocarditis following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination being reported, with a prevalence of 2.1 cases for 100,000 inhabitants.

However, there are a lack of data regarding the risk of myocarditis recurrence after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients with a history of the condition.

Study author Dr Iyad Abou Saleh of Hospices Civils de Lyon, France, said the research included all patients hospitalised in Hospices Civils de Lyon from January 2016 to June 2021 with acute myocarditis.

Patients were contacted by telephone and asked if they had been vaccinated, with which vaccine, how many times, and whether they had any side effects. They were also asked if they had had COVID-19.

In total, 142 individuals – average age 31 years and 20.3% of whom were women – with a history of confirmed acute myocarditis were enrolled in the study.

Vaccination status was known for 71 patients (50%), with 55 vaccinated and 16 not vaccinated – the main reason individuals gave for not being vaccinated was the fear of myocarditis recurrence – while vaccination status was unknown for 66 patients. Five patients had died before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Among the vaccinated patients, 12 had received one dose and 43 had had two doses and 53 (96.4%) had received the BNT162b2 mRNA Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. One patient had the mRNA-1273 Moderna vaccine and one had the Ad26.COV2-S [recombinant] Janssen vaccine.

Dr Abou Saleh said: “We showed that SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients with a history of acute myocarditis is not associated with a risk of recurrent myocarditis or other serious side effects. Our results should be interpreted with caution due to the small number of patients and the predominant use of one type of vaccine.”

The researchers also obtained information about side effects following vaccination from medical records. These included serious events such as death, arrhythmias, and recurrent myocarditis. There were no serious adverse events after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.

Abstract: Safety of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in people with a history of acute myocarditis

Tags: Europe | Flu & Viruses | Heart Health | Pharmaceuticals

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