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Health Department: Benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh risk of myocarditis

North Carolina Department Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has released updated information regarding the rare occurrence of myocarditis and pericarditis as a side effect of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, such as Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.

The following statement was signed by leaders of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics and other medical and public health groups in support of COVID-19 vaccinations.

“Myocarditis and pericarditis are a rare side effect of mRNA vaccines. Myocarditis and pericarditis are much more common if you get COVID-19, and the risks to the heart from COVID-19 infection can be more severe. CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 12 years of age and older given the greater risk of other serious complications related to COVID-19, such as hospitalization, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), or death.”

Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside the heart) have occurred in some people who have received mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

In most of these people, symptoms began within a few days following their second dose of vaccine. The chance of having this occur is very low. NCDHHS reports, “Nationally, for every 1 million second doses of COVID-19 vaccine, there have been about 67 reported cases in males ages 12-17, 56 cases in males ages 18-24 years and 20 cases in males ages 25-29 years according to VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) data including both confirmed and unconfirmed cases. The rates for females were nine, six, and three respectively.”

Additionally, “Since the start of the pandemic at least 7.7 million people ages 12-29 years have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 2,767 have died, according to the CDC. There have also been just over 4,000 cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children following SARS-CoV2 infections (COVID-19 infection).”

“Vaccination continues to be the best line of defense against serious illness and even death due to COVID-19 infection,” Health and Human Services Director Dave Jenkins added. “Over the past few months, millions of people in the U.S. have been safely vaccinated. The FDA and CDC continue to carefully monitor vaccines for safety concerns and it is expected that full authorization will be granted for the COVID-19 vaccines in the next few months. I encourage anyone that has concerns with getting vaccinated to please contact their healthcare provider.”

COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available for anyone age 12 or older. To schedule a first dose vaccine appointment online at the Stanly County Health Department visit http://book.novelhealth.ai/stanly, or call the hotline at 980-323-0205. For additional vaccine providers, visit www.vaccines.gov.