Local doctor addresses rare heart risks affecting teens, young adults who get COVID-19 vaccine


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Despite some rare side effects popping up among vaccinated teens and young adults, health officials say the benefits outweigh the risks.

On Wednesday, the CDC added new cautions about reactions like heart inflammation and chest pain appearing in a small number of teens and young adults who get the COVID-19 vaccine. A few of these cases have appeared in the Fort Wayne, according to Dustin Thomas, M.D., from Parkview Health. He adds that almost all of those individuals recovered from those symptoms.

Even with the new cautions from the CDC, Thomas urges parents to get their children vaccinated against the coronavirus. He adds that those who do not get vaccinated would likely feel worse effects from the actual virus.

“The COVID virus itself causes myocarditis, so the same heart inflammation that we’re seeing extremely rarely with the vaccinate occurs much more frequently with the viral infection itself,” Dr. Thomas said. “In that scenario, it seems like the inflammation is worse, the impact on the squeezing function on the heart is more, and those patients don’t recover as frequently.”

On Facebook, many parents feel that the CDC’s announcement boldened their decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate their children.

One user wrote that she was not concerned about the rare side effects, adding that getting the actual virus is more dangerous.

“It’s so rare to have this heart complication. And even if they get it they will be fine,” she wrote.

Others commented that any risk is too much.

“My decision hasn’t changed. In fact, this just solidifies it,” wrote one person who opted to not get their children vaccinated.

Dr. Thomas understands the recent announcement from the CDC could come as a red flag for parents who are on the fence about getting their children vaccinated. He suggests that parents talk to their doctor to address any questions or concerns about the vaccine.

“There’s always some hesitancy around a vaccination, especially as we’re vaccinating younger and younger populations of patients,” Dr. Thomas said. “You’re always just trying to do the right things for your kids.”

Patients that develop these rare side effects often have symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath or heart palpitations. If you or your children were recently vaccinated and notice any of these symptoms. Dr. Thomas recommends contacting your healthcare provider or a cardiologist.

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