A recent study analyzing severe heart inflammation following COVID-19 vaccination in four Nordic countries found that, while still rare, the risk was increased in young men. Widely shared social media posts have misrepresented the study’s findings to claim that the rare risk is actually widespread. The study explicitly notes that myocarditis after vaccination is rare “even among young males,” and concludes that the risk should continue to be evaluated. The study also found that COVID-19 infection increased the risk of heart inflammation, particularly among adults over age 40.
A small number of cases of heart inflammation in young adults following COVID-19 vaccination has caused understandable concern and information seeking. Organizations are recommended to address these concerns, and to update informational and educational materials accordingly if they have not done so already. Explaining that health authorities are monitoring reports of myocarditis and pericarditis, that cases are rare, and that the benefits of the vaccine greatly outweigh the risks is recommended.
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