Heart inflammation cases emerge among 5- to 11-year-old kids after COVID-19 shot: CDC

Most patients with the inflammation 'felt better quickly' after receiving medication, rest

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday it received reports of eight cases of a heart inflammation called myocarditis in children ages 5 to 11 who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 with Pfizer-BioNTech. 

The agency said there had been over 7 million vaccine doses in the 5-11 age group at the time it examined the data, with 5.1 million first doses and 2 million second doses. 

The cases had "a mild clinical course," the CDC said, as reported by Reuters.

The cases were reported in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and presented by the CDC to a panel of its expert advisers.

A nurse gives Malikai McPherson, 16, a shot of the vaccine at a vaccination clinic at Health First Medical Centre. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

In November, the CDC provided an update after discovering rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine. Pericarditis is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.

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According to VAERS, symptoms for both heart inflammations include chest pain, shortness of breath and feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart. Reported cases have occurred in young adults and male adolescents. 

Most cases have occurred within a week after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots, especially in male adolescents and young adults. 

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The CDC reports that most patients with the inflammation "felt better quickly" after receiving medication and rest. It is advised that myocarditis patients speak with a cardiologist before resuming exercise or sports.

Dr. Salma Elfaki holds a vial of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a Moderna clinical trial for adolescents being conducted by Accel Research Sites with Nona Pediatric Center in Orlando. ( Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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Despite the newfound inflammatory side effects, the CDC continues to encourage all parents to get their children 5-year-old and older vaccinated against COVID-19, saying the long term effects of the virus outweigh the side effects of the shot. 

"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," according to the CDC.

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The agency also advises speaking to one's health care provider or child's pediatrician if any concerns arise.

The report on inflammation among children comes just a day after CDC recommended Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over Johnson & Johnson's due to rare blood clotting.

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