18 April 2022 | News
Myopericarditis is a condition that causes inflammation of the heart muscle and, in some cases, severe permanent heart damage
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Globally, more than 10 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered as of March 2022. While most side-effects of the vaccine are mild and self- limiting, myopericarditis (inflammation of the heart) is increasingly being reported after COVID- 19 vaccination. A new study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, found that the overall risk of myopericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination is very low, affecting 18 people per million vaccine doses. This confirms that the risk is comparable to or lower following COVID-19 vaccination than some of the other non-COVID-19 vaccines.
A team of researchers from the National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS), the National University Hospital (NUH) and the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), examined international databases, looking at more than 400 million vaccination doses, to compare the risk of myopericarditis following vaccination against COVID-19 and other diseases such as influenza and smallpox. They found no statistically significant difference between the incidence of myopericarditis following COVID- 19 vaccination (18 cases per million doses) and other vaccinations (56 cases per million doses).
“Our research suggests that the overall risk of myopericarditis appears to be no different for this newly approved group of vaccines against COVID- 19, compared to vaccines against other diseases. The risk of such rare events should be balanced against the risk of myopericarditis from infection and these findings should bolster public confidence in the safety of COVID-19 vaccinations,” says Dr Kollengode Ramanathan, Senior Consultant in the Department of Cardiac, Thoracic & Vascular Surgery at NUHCS and the corresponding author of the study.