Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle. Myocarditis generally occurs when the immune system is triggered, such as when the body is fighting off an infection. Myocarditis can cause chest pain, heart palpitations, difficulty breathing and can interfere with heart function.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), myocarditis has been identified as a rare side effect of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Reported cases have been mild and resolved quickly, often without medical care. These rare instances have been most often seen in boys aged 16 and older and young men.
It is important to consider the risk of vaccination compared to the risk of a serious COVID-19 infection. Data from the CDC shows that only 4-7 people may develop myocarditis out of every 100,000 people vaccinated. However, if those 1,000 people were not vaccinated, we would expect to see 50 hospitalizations among that group for serious COVID-19 complications, including potential myocarditis.
It is normal to have concerns about the side effects of any vaccine. Share any concerns or questions you may have with your health care provider.