WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Concerns are growing over reports of heart inflammation in young people who received the COVID-19 vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now investigating the potential link and have called an emergency meeting for later this week.
While kids 12 and older have had about a month to get their first or second COVID shots, what about the 6-month-old to 12-year-old age group?
COVID vaccines are expected to be authorized for that younger age group by the end of the summer or early fall, but now the CDC is stepping in to take another look at the vaccine.
The CDC has scheduled an emergency meeting for Friday to take another look at myocarditis in children. There have been six cases at Connecticut children’s and more than a dozen statewide.
Dr. Juan Salazar of Connecticut Children’s told News 8, “This is not something like a heart attack or anything like that. This is very different; it’s mild inflammation of the heart muscle, called ‘myocarditis’ which we have been able to treat and discharge the patient without any problem.”
Doctors say it normally affects children shortly after they get the second COVID shot. It usually starts with chest pain and has been successfully treated at the hospital.
Dr. Salazar explained, “They come in, the heart gets inflamed, and then they go home. So the CDC is now looking at this in great detail. This is part of the system. This is part of the process.”
And doctors say this is just a precaution. The system is set up with a safety net to catch any problems with the vaccine. And, while student-age kids are reporting problems, they are very small and rare problems.
“The rate is 16 cases per million…And those 16 per million are kids that are 16, 18 years old, some of them a little bit younger.”
Doctors still recommend getting vaccination because the numbers of children who are getting COVID-19, ending up hospitalized with severe complications are a more dangerous problem.
“We have seen about 4 million cases of [COVID in] pediatric age groups under the age of 19. That is a lot of people. And some of them have ended up in the hospital, some, unfortunately, have died as a result of this, so we still need to vaccinate.”
So as the CDC is stepping in to take a look at these cases, research on that 6-month-old up to the 12 years old, that’s continuing to move forward, and they say it’s going to continue to keep going forward unless the CDC recommends otherwise.
Children as young as six months and older are already part of Pfizer vaccine trials right here in Connecticut.