As per research in Israel, Covid vaccines pose a threat to the young population. These are BioNtech and Pfizer formulated vaccines. After vaccination, a few young men develop a condition called myocarditis. Myocarditis occurs through inflammation of the heart muscle.
A report by the Ministry of Health in Israeli on June 1 provided more information on the matter. According to their study, half of 6000 men between the age of 16 to 24 were suffering from myocarditis. However, reports suggest low severity in most cases and the problem is quick to resolve.
A bioethicist and pediatrician from the Seattle Children’s Hospital named Douglas Diekema shared his opinion on the matter. He believes that nothing could result in medical professionals deciding it best not to vaccinate people against the pandemic.
Myocarditis posed as a side effect of the covid vaccine when over 60 people faced it. The 60 cases involved young men who received the vaccine’s second dose. This condition developed in them after some days of them taking their dose.
At the time of this discovery, the US too started observing cases of myocarditis. The Defense Department in the US had managed to track 14 cases of myocarditis.
In the middle of May, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the US confirmed this. The department claimed that they had been reviewing cases of myocarditis as well.
A week ago, the European Medicines Agency had detected 107 cases of myocarditis post-vaccination. They noticed this in every 1 case out of 175,000 BioNtech-Pfizer vaccines. This was because Europe did not administer vaccines to as many young people as Israeli had.
The Risk-Benefit Trade-Off between Myocarditis and Coronavirus
Currently, Israeli, Europe, and multiple other nations wonder if vaccinating the young ones is a wise option. The Israeli panel deliberated on this matter as well. The vaccinations of adolescents aged 16 and above started since mid-January Israel.
The Israeli Ministry of Health decided on June 2 if vaccinating children above 12 is safe and allowed. The department is yet to make known its decision on the matter. Canada and the US started vaccinating children aged 12 and above since mid-May.
Diekema is a student of risk-benefit trade-offs. He believes that for parents, it is a matter of risk perception on the point above. It has been medically observed that even if side effects such as myocarditis occur, it is mild and treatable. However, if adolescents end up with Coronavirus without vaccination, then result might be fatal.
Diekema has confirmed that he’s aware of the rumor of a possible connection between myocarditis and the covid vaccine. However, he affirms that he does not think that physicians would decide against vaccinating their children.
The take of the Ministry of Health of Israeli on the link between Myocarditis and Coronavirus vaccines
Israeli has earnestly depended on the BioNtech-Pfizer vaccine since its initial vaccination drive. In January, the Israeli Ministry of Health, headed by Dror Mevorach, decided to discover the root cause of the issue. Mevorach divulged some information regarding this in his interview with Science Magazine under the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
He shared that he, along with his colleagues, had discovered 110 myocarditis-positive cases out of five million. The five million people were people who had had both administrations of the BioNtech-Pfizer vaccine. Only 110 out of the five million had shown symptoms of heart inflammation.
This means that statistically, only 1 out of 50,000 vaccinated people could have myocarditis. The Ministry of Health deemed this an insignificant number as the presence of infections or coronavirus usually escalates myocarditis.
Despite the previous observation by the department, it was observed that the cases of myocarditis in younger people were higher. According to research, myocarditis only occurs in younger men. However, in Israeli, vaccinated men outside of the bracketed age group suffered from it. The rate of myocarditis in vaccinated men was 25 times the rate of myocarditis occurring in general.
There have been instances of myocarditis resulting in fatality in two people in Israeli. However, the panel ruled it inconclusive as studies did not find anything satisfying to rule as an outcome of the covid vaccines. One out of the two patients had inflammatory symptoms in general. The second patient’s cause could not be verified.
Mevorach shared in his interview about a study conducted by the Ministry of Health. This study is suggestive of the confirmation of a link between myocarditis and the BioNtech-Pfizer vaccine. He is convinced of the same due to the survey.
Deliberation on other reasons that may have caused Myocarditis
A chief officer of the science department and also a cardiologist named Peter Liu from Ottawa Heart Institute University provided his voice on the matter. He believes that the recent studies provide statistical information confirming the link. Therefore, the data cannot be avoided.
Diekema states that he believes it essential that hints be pursued. However, he also advised caution as the report is only suggestive. He conveyed that it would be better to explore the possibility of a link by testing another population by other researchers.
He believes that there is a possibility of other factors being involved. This possibility needs to be negated before deciding on the link existing between myocarditis and covid vaccines.
He articulated in his interview that children have currently been socializing at an increased pace. Owing to this, he claims that the cases have risen in his hospital more than they had a year back. Therefore, he finds it evident that cases of myocarditis have increased since last year.
He stated that it would be better if researchers compared unvaccinated young adults with vaccinated young adults while pursuing the link. He states that these studies are taking place, and he’s glad about it.
Is BioNtech-Pfizer the only vaccine causing trouble?
Moderna vaccines, too, are being studied. Moderna is not yet in use in Israeli, but it depends on RNA messenger like the BioNtech-Pfizer vaccine. There is a possibility that mRNA night increases the risk of a link.
It could be because both vaccines drastically increase the rate of antibodies in the body. Such increased antibodies perhaps lead to an immune reaction that affects the heart. Both the vaccines generate immunity; therefore, it is not a far-fetched assumption, according to Peter.
Mevorach chooses to suspect the mRNA to be the cause for such overreactions. When introduced in the body, the mRNA is being considered by the body as a defense against the virus. This is an assumption that is being made. Peter states the mRNA works as an enhancer to escalate the immune system of the body.
Action taken by Medical Professionals and Scope of Further Research
Diekema announced that doctors are on high alert for patients experiencing chest pain after vaccination. This will help them to cure myocarditis at the earliest and make a report of it.
Mevorach agrees that people at large must be aware of the possibility of myocarditis occurring post-vaccination. Mevorach divulged that out of the 40 cases that his colleagues cured, only a handful needed corticosteroids administration due to severity.
An important aspect is currently under research to understand if it would lessen the chances of myocarditis. Researchers are trying to study if a delay in the second dose would diminish the chances of heart inflammation.
Currently, nations have stretched the time of their vaccinees receiving the second dose to explore the truth of the possibility. Nations have elongated the time difference between both doses of vaccines from three to 12 or 16 weeks.
This also helps countries to vaccinate maximum people with the first shot. Myocarditis being dropped due to a delay in the second dose will be confirmed or negated in the research of upcoming months.
Peter proposes lowering the dosage of the vaccines in the young ones is worth considering. Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are being tested in young children. The experts will have the results within the upcoming months.
Peter believes in case there is a proven link between myocarditis and the vaccine; the vaccines are still beneficial. This is because currently, the risks of contracting Coronavirus are far more significant than contracting myocarditis.
Mevorach claims that Israeli has a very low number of Coronavirus cases. Only 15 cases of Coronavirus reported in Israeli as of May 31. Mevorach hopes that parents can have the choice to vaccinate their children. He affirms that Israeli currently is not in a state of an emergency in terms of the pandemic.