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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday it will convene an emergency meeting of its advisers on June 18 to discuss higher-than-expected reports of heart inflammation following doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines, CBS News reported.
According to the CDC, a total of 475 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis were recorded in patients 30 and younger. The CDC identified 226 reports that might meet the agency’s “working case definition” of myocarditis and pericarditis following the shots, the agency disclosed Thursday during an FDA hearing.
The majority of those affected have recovered, but 41 had ongoing symptoms, 15 are still hospitalized and three are in the intensive care unit.
Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office said during Thursday’s meeting there had been a higher-than-expected number of cases of heart inflammation among young people recently vaccinated with their second doses of mRNA vaccine.
CDC data showed 196 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis among 18- to 24-year-olds through May 31, compared with an expected rate of between eight and 83 cases.
Among 16- to 17-year-olds, 79 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis were reported through May 31. The expected rate among people in this age group is between two and 19 cases, Shimabukuro said during his presentation.
Shimabukuro said the CDC’s findings were “mostly consistent” with reports of rare cases of heart inflammation that had been studied in Israel and reported by the U.S. Department of Defense earlier this year.
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle that can lead to cardiac arrhythmia and death. According to researchers at the National Organization for Rare Disorders, myocarditis can result from infections, but “more commonly the myocarditis is a result of the body’s immune reaction to the initial heart damage.”