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In-Depth: CDC investigates link between COVID-19 vaccine and myocarditis

Posted at 6:00 AM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 10:29:00-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The CDC says it's looking into a potential link between the COVID-19 vaccine and some recent cases of myocarditis, a rare heart condition.

In a report on May 17th, the COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical Work Group said they'd seen a few instances of myocarditis among people who recently received the COVID-19 vaccine but did not discover a direct link.

According to the report, the condition appeared primarily in teenage and young adult males within four days after their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

The report also said the cases were mild, and the number of cases "have not differed from expected baseline rates." That means it could be a coincidence.

San Diego doctors say they're aware of the issue but not concerned.

"We don't want anyone to panic," says Dr. Abisola Olulade from Sharp Rees-Stealy Family Medicine. "At this point, the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh the potential side effects."

Dr. Olulade says the report is proof the safeguards in place are working and that scrutiny of the vaccine, and any possible side effects, is ongoing and effective.

"It's a good thing," she says. "It means that the monitoring system that they have is working, and they're going to work to see if there is a link."

A similar report from Israel found that health officials in that country found 62 cases of Myocarditis among more than five million people who had received a second dose. That report says they could not determine a direct link between the two.

The Myocarditis Foundation lists dozens of possible causes for the condition, ranging from infections of other diseases to severe reactions to drugs or alcohol.

Meanwhile, the American Heart Association says people should still get the vaccine.

Dr. Olulade says people who get the vaccine should be more alert to any possible condition symptoms.

"After getting the vaccine, you definitely want to monitor your symptoms. If you're having any of these like shortness of breath or any of that, then definitely seek medical attention," she says.

The CDC says they will continue to study the issue and provide health care providers with information to pass along to people who get the vaccine.