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Rare Heart Inflammation Following COVID-19 Vaccination Sparks Emergency CDC Meeting

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Ailan Evans Contributor
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will discuss reports of a rare heart inflammation following doses of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines in an emergency meeting, it announced Thursday.

The emergency meeting, set to take place on June 18, will include updates on mRNA COVID-19 vaccine safety with a specific focus on rare reports of myocarditis and pericarditis, Scott Pauley of the CDC told The Daily Caller News Foundation. The risks and benefits of administering the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to adolescents and young adults will also be discussed, according to the meeting’s agenda.

The announcement comes following a presentation to the Food and Drug Administration by Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office, confirming 226 cases of myocarditis/pericarditis in people under 30. These cases are more than twice what was expected under the FDA’s safety assessment for COVID-19 vaccines.

“The fact that the CDC’s post-authorization/post-licensure safety monitoring systems have been able to rapidly detect and assess myocarditis/pericarditis following mRNA vaccine is an indication of the strength and robustness of the U.S. vaccine safety monitoring system,” Shimabukuro’s spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We clearly have an imbalance there,” Shimabukuro told NBC News. (RELATED: Possible Vaccine Side Effect Connected To The Heart Now Being Studied).

Peter Marks of the Food and Drug Administration meets with Rochelle Walensky, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)

Peter Marks of the Food and Drug Administration meets with Rochelle Walensky, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)

“It is hard to deny that there’s some event that seems to be occurring in terms of myocarditis,” said Dr. Cody Meissner, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the Tufts Children’s Hospital in Boston, according to NBC.

Myocarditis and pericarditis are inflammations of the heart that include symptoms of chest pain, labored breathing, and heart damage, according to the CDC. Primarily afflicting people under 30, most reported cases have been mild, with the vast majority able to return home after a single hospital visit, NBC reports.

“It’s a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison because, again, these are preliminary reports. Not all these will turn out to be true myocarditis or pericarditis reports,” Shimabukuro said, according to CBS News.

The emergency meeting comes following the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine for children as young as twelve. The drug company is currently performing clinical trials of the vaccine on children ages five to eleven.

Moderna filed Thursday for FDA authorization to give its mRNA vaccine to young teens.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect additional comments from Dr. Tom Shimabukuro’s spokesperson.

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