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BCCA Advice for Patients - Myocarditis and Pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination in children and young people
Reports of myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination in children and young people
Vaccination against Covid-19 infection will be offered to individuals between 12-15 years of age. This is because of the risks of complications of Covid-19 infection and other factors including the impact of Covid-19 infection on being able to attend schools, colleges and other educational settings.
The occurrence of inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or inflammation of the outer lining of the heart (pericarditis) has been reported rarely following vaccination with mRNA vaccines (Pfizer / Moderna).
Young adults, adolescents and children appear more affected than older adults, and males are more affected than females. Myocarditis / pericarditis occurs most commonly occurs within 2-3 days of vaccination (>90% within 7 days), more commonly with the second dose of vaccination than the first.
Chest pain or discomfort
Shortness of breath or pain with breathing
Palpitations or syncope
If these symptoms occur then prompt medical attention should be sought.
Investigations which may be undertaken include
- Blood tests to check for inflammation of the heart muscle
- Echocardiogram (ultrasound scan of the heart) to check heart function
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging to examine inflammation of the heart muscle in detail
Treatment is directed at pain relief and reduction in inflammation of the heart muscle. In the vast majority of cases the symptoms resolve rapidly with standard treatment.
UK government advice on vaccine related myocarditis may be found at the following sites:
British Heart Foundation
14 September 2021