Israel discovers links between Pfizer’s COVID vaccine and heart inflammation in young men
Israel’s health ministry said on Tuesday it found that a small number of cases of heart inflammation, seen primarily in young men who received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in Israel, were likely linked to their vaccination.
Pfizer said it has not observed a higher rate of heart disease, known as myocarditis, than one would normally expect in the general population.
Typical symptoms of myocarditis include shortness of breath, fever, and chest pain.
In Israel, 275 cases of myocarditis were reported between December 2020 and May 2021 among more than 5 million people vaccinated, the ministry said, disclosing the results of a study it commissioned to examine the matter.
Most of the patients who suffered from heart inflammation did not spend more than four days in the hospital and 95% of the cases were classified as mild, according to the study, which the ministry said was conducted by three teams of experts.
The study found “that there is a probable link between receiving the second dose (of Pfizer) of the vaccine and the development of myocarditis in men aged 16 to 30,” she said. stated in a press release.
According to the results, such an association was observed more in men aged 16 to 19 than in other age groups.
Pfizer said in a statement that it was aware of the Israeli sightings of myocarditis, noting that no causal link with its vaccine had been established.
Adverse events are carefully scrutinized and Pfizer regularly meets with the vaccine safety department of Israel’s Ministry of Health to review the data, he said.
Israel had refused to make its population aged 12 to 15 eligible for vaccines, pending the report from the health ministry. Along with the publication of these results, a ministerial committee approved adolescent vaccination, a senior official said.
“The committee has given the green light for the vaccination of 12 to 15 year olds, and it will be possible as early as next week,” Nachman Ash, Israel’s pandemic response coordinator, told Radio 103 FM. “The effectiveness of the vaccine outweighs the risk.”
United States recommends further studies
Last month, an advisory group from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended further study into the possibility of a link between myocarditis and mRNA vaccines, which include those from Pfizer and Moderna Inc.
CDC’s surveillance systems had not found more cases in the population than expected, but the advisory group said in a statement members believed healthcare providers should be made aware of reports of an “event. potential undesirable “.
The economy has reopened
Israel has been a world leader in the deployment of immunization.
With COVID-19 infections reduced to a handful per day and a total of active cases at just 340 across the country, the economy has fully opened up, although restrictions remain on inbound tourism.
About 55% of the Israeli population has already been vaccinated.
On Tuesday, restrictions on social distancing and the need for special green vaccination passes to enter certain restaurants and venues were removed.