Is The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Really Linked To Heart Problems In Young Adults?

Reports show the previously reported correlation between the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and an increased risk of a heart condition, called myocarditis, may be higher than originally thought (via U.S. News & World Report). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CDC have been reviewing data out of Canada, which shows that young people, specifically males under 30 years old, who took the Moderna vaccine might have a higher risk of contracting the heart condition compared to young males who took the Pfizer vaccine. 

Data out of the United States is also being reviewed to see if there is a higher link between the Moderna vaccine and myocarditis, as the CDC reported that between April and June 2021, more than 1,000 cases of inflammation of the heart were reported post-COVID-19 vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. In June, the FDA revised both the Moderna and Pfizer patient and provider fact sheets, adding a warning of an increased risk of the heart conditions myocarditis and pericarditis.

Young adults are still 'strongly encouraged' to get vaccinated

With the possible link between the Moderna vaccine and myocarditis in younger males, The Washington Post reports that the FDA has yet to expand Moderna's emergency use authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine to children between the ages of 12 and 17, although the company requested that extension back in June. An anonymous person familiar with the new data linking the Moderna shot to an increased risk of myocarditis shared with The Washington Post that more information should be revealed in the upcoming days to determine whether or not a new or revised warning should be added to the Moderna vaccine.

However, U.S. News & World Report revealed that officials do not want to cause alarm over these findings. In a joint press release, the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and 15 other medical and public health organizations explained that they "strongly encourage everyone age 12 and older" to get vaccinated because the health benefits outweigh the potential health hazards. 

Here is what you need to know about myocarditis

According to the Mayo Clinic, myocarditis can stem from a viral infection or reaction to a drug or vaccine. It is a condition that creates inflammation of the heart muscle and can cause an increased heart rate as well as abnormal heart rhythms, as the condition reduces the hearts ability to pump adequately. Symptoms of this condition include chest pain, rapid or irregular heartbeats, fatigue, and shortness of breath. In serious cases, myocarditis can weaken the heart so much so, that the rest of your body doesn't get enough blood, and this can lead to blood clots in the heart (via Mayo Clinic).

Harvard Health reported that as of July, 79% of teens who reported myocarditis as an adverse reaction to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine have recovered. Additionally, FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Caccomo explained, "We can say that FDA is absolutely committed to reviewing data as it becomes available to us. We have previously communicated about myocarditis and COVID-19 vaccines and if new information changes the risk/benefit profile, we will update the public accordingly" (via The Washington Post).