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Myocarditis and Pericarditis After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle. Pericarditis is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.

  • In both cases, the body’s immune system causes inflammation in response to an infection or some other trigger. Learn more about myocarditis and pericarditis. Both myocarditis and pericarditis have the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart

Myocarditis and pericarditis have rarely been reported. When reported, the cases have especially been in adolescents and young adult males within several days after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna).

  • More often after the second dose

  • Usually within a week of vaccination

  • Most patients with myocarditis or pericarditis who received care responded well to medicine and rest and felt better quickly.

  • Patients can usually return to their normal daily activities after their symptoms improve.

  • Those who have been diagnosed with myocarditis should consult with their cardiologist (heart doctor) about return to exercise or sports.

Seek medical care if you or your child have any of the specific or general symptoms of myocarditis or pericarditis especially if it’s within a week after COVID-19 vaccination.

Healthcare Providers: For additional recommendations and clinical guidance, visit Clinical Considerations: Myocarditis after mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines. Should I Still Get Myself or My Child Vaccinated? Yes. CDC continues to recommend that everyone ages 6 months and older get vaccinated for COVID-19. The known risks of COVID-19 illness and its related, possibly severe complications, such as long-term health problems, hospitalization, and even death, far outweigh the potential risks of having a rare adverse reaction to vaccination, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis. If you have already gotten the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, or if your child has already gotten the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, it’s important to get the second dose unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it. If you have concerns about COVID-19 vaccination, talk with your healthcare provider or your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic. If you have any health problems after vaccination, report them to VAERS

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