June 13, 2021
After the United States, Europe also shines a light on the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis after the administration of vaccines against Covid. The day before yesterday, the EMA published a report on these side effects that were not initially reported by the pharmaceutical companies. At the end of May, the cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) reported to the European pharmacovigilance were: 122 after receiving Pfizer, 16 Moderna, 38 (AstraZeneca) and 0 for Johnsonn & Johnsonn. Instead, reported cases of pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the heart) were 126 with Pfizer, 18 with Moderna, 47 with AstraZeneca and one with J&J. It should be noted that these are very rare cases, since 160 million Pfizer doses had been administered in Europe by that date, 19 million doses for Moderna, 40 for AstraZeneca and 2 for J&J.
The Prac, the safety committee of the EMA, makes it known that “the evaluation of the reports of myocarditis manifested by a small number of people after vaccination with Covid vaccines continues”. The PRAC began checks in April after the first cases reported in Israel. “Most were mild and resolved within days and mainly affected males under the age of 30, with symptoms mostly starting within days of vaccination with the second dose,” the report reads. “The symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis can vary, but often include shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, which can be irregular, and chest pain,” explains the Prac. Conditions usually improve spontaneously, or with medication. The recommendation is to notify your doctor right away if these symptoms appear. The evaluation still goes on. EMA is collaborating with the Israeli supervisory authority and reserves the right to “update the recommendations if necessary”.