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Health officials worry myocarditis concerns will increase vaccine hesitancy

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 9:51 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Local health officials worry the CDC’s latest findings linking the Covid-19 vaccine to the rare heart condition, Myocarditis, could increase vaccine hesitancy among parents.

The CDC reports there are 226 confirmed cases of the heart condition, Myocarditis, linked to the Covid-19 vaccine. Officials said the concern is mainly in males under the age of 30, but local health officials said it is still extremely rare and shouldn’t deter parents from vaccinating their children.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Wesley Willeford said those 226 confirmed cases are a very small number of people when you compare it to the 177 million doses of the vaccine administered across the country.

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart tissue, but Willeford said it is linked to many different viral infections, even Covid-19.

He said you are more likely to get Myocarditis from the virus than you are to get it from the vaccine and the recent findings should not scare people from getting the shot, especially with more young people being hospitalized right now.

“I don’t want anyone to feel like we are trying to force anyone into a decision blindly, so think about it,” he said. “But, I think at the end of the day, the evidence really says it is much more dangerous to tangle with the virus than it is to tangle with the vaccine.”

Willeford said Myocarditis can appear as chest pain or shortness of breath, but he said majority of the confirmed cases from the vaccine are now fully recovered.

Willeford suggest speaking with your pediatrician before getting the shot if you have concerns.

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