NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect that the medical situation discussed is inflammation of the heart.
(WTNH) — Could the COVID-19 vaccine cause inflammation of the hearts in children?
Myocarditis is very rare in children, yet several cases have presented in Connecticut. More than a dozen have been hospitalized, treated, and released right here in Connecticut.
Now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating, looking into it to see if it could be connected to the COVID vaccine.
Dr. Deirdre Gifford, Connecticut’s Commissioner of Public Health, said Monday, “Providers in Connecticut let us know about 18 cases in our state.”
So far, 18 kids in Connecticut have been hospitalized; 17 have since been sent home from the hospital, and one remains under observation as doctors try and see if this is linked to the COVID vaccine.
“We have been in touch with the CDC to make sure they are aware of the cases so they are studying this question,” Dr. Gifford explained.
They have seen a handful of cases at Connecticut Children’s shortly after children receive the vaccine. Doctors say Myocarditis feels like heartburn.
Dr.Juan Salazar at Connecticut Children’s added, “If your child develops chest pains, it’s going to be very rare, or shortness of breath, or very fatigued, then please call your pediatrician. If you’re not sure, come in, we can see you.”
It has not been just Connecticut Children’s that have had cases present, it’s also been Yale and other area hospitals and hospitals throughout New England.
The big question for parents is, should you continue to get your child vaccinated?
Chief Dr. Jeremy Asnes of Yale New Haven Children’s Heart Center answered, “Yes you should absolutely continue on with the recommended vaccination schedule. The Myocarditis that we are seeing thus far is very mild.”
“If it happens, it’s rare,” Dr. Salazar assures parents. “Is it associated with a vaccine? Maybe. We don’t know yet, and when it is seen with a vaccine the cases have required hospitalization but they have recovered fully which is good news.”
Late Monday, in response to the reports of the 18 cases of Myocarditis in the state, the CT Freedom Alliance (CTFA) released a statement calling on Gov. Ned Lamont to “issue an executive order immediately halting the administration of any of the COVID-19 vaccines to children and young adults.”
CTFA President Dawn Jolly said, “The truth is, myocarditis is rarely seen in children, with an estimated one to two cases per every 100,000 children. So to see 18 cases in such a short span of time in Connecticut alone is deeply troubling. Even more troubling, though, is the fact that we can’t be sure what long-term effects these children will experience as a result of developing this serious
condition. In light of this disturbing news, the governor has a duty to stop this immediately.”
Both Yale New Haven Children’s and Connecticut Children’s, however, recommend getting vaccinated because when you weigh COVID versus Myocarditis, children are recovering from the inflammation of the heart, but have died from COVID.
So far, none of the children have suffered any long-term effects from the vaccine.
As the CDC continues to investigate right now, it’s a wait-and-see game. You’re still supposed to get vaccinated, everything seems to be OK moving forward as it looks at myocarditis in children.