COVID-19

Pfizer vaccine and heart inflammation: a small but real risk

THE ESSENTIAL

  • Carditis is an inflammation of the heart often related to a bacterial or viral infection.
  • The risk of carditis after an anti-Covid vaccine with the Pfizer product is higher in men after the second injection

The risk of developing myocarditis or pericarditis after an anti-Covid vaccination with the Pfizer product is very low in absolute value. But nonetheless it is real. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine notes that vaccinated people are three times more likely to develop inflammation of heart tissue than unvaccinated people.

This study conducted in Hong Kong involved 160 patients with carditis and 1,533 healthy patients to examine the potential risk associated with covid vaccines. And their results show that twenty cases of carditis were associated with the Pfizer vaccine, representing a 3.57-fold increased risk compared to unvaccinated people of comparable profile.

inflammation of the heart

Carditis is an inflammation of the heart that can be caused by bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections. The most common types are myocarditis, which affects the heart muscle itself, or pericarditis, which affects the outer lining of the heart.

The work carried out by researchers at the University of Hong Kong also shows that this increased risk of carditis linked to the Pfizer vaccine mainly affects men after the injection of the second dose: it is 4.68 times higher for the latter compared to 2.22 times for women.

0.57 cases per 100,000 doses

In a context where this risk of cardiac inflammation is highlighted in controversies over anti-Covid vaccination campaigns, the authors of this study emphasize that the absolute risk remains very low. They recall that the incidence of carditis after vaccination is 0.57 per 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and that none of the twenty cases of pericarditis observed during their work resulted in death or even hospitalization in intensive care, while 12 deaths and 133 hospitalizations in intensive care. the group of unvaccinated patients.

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