PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Health providers across the region are being asked to keep an eye out for heart inflammation in patients who have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. While the CDC has not established a link between the vaccine and the inflammation, health leaders are tracking data to see if there could be a link in some cases.
According to the OHA there are six people being monitored in Oregon and Washington for a condition called myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscles with symptoms coming on shortly after getting the vaccine. That’s six out of the millions of people who have gotten their vaccines already in both states. Local and national health experts are asking doctors to report these cases so they can learn more.
While heart inflammation can sound scary Dr. Paul Cieslak with OHA tells FOX 12 all the cases they’re watching right now are very mild with nobody needing serious medical treatment. “It’s really just been chest pain, I think people could get fatigued, but when the heart is inflamed you tend to feel it in the middle of your chest and that’s what they’re coming in with,” said Dr. Cieslak.
Some of the people being monitored are teens. Dr. Cieslak says that could affect younger age groups more prominently. “Now that we’ve opened up vaccination to younger age groups that may be one reason why we’re starting to see it.”
Again health leaders are just trying to get the full picture to see if heart inflammation can be tied to the vaccine in these handful of cases. Health officials in Israel are also looking into a few reports out of more than 5 million vaccinated people there. The OHA and CDC says vaccines are safe and effective and they continue to encourage people to get vaccinated.
FOX 12 reached out to several area hospitals about this and heard back from a couple. Providence says they don’t have any pediatric cases in their hospital or clinics.
OHSU released a statement saying in part, “While the investigation is ongoing, currently available data suggests that the risk of developing myocarditis following vaccine appears to be low. The benefits of receiving the vaccine overwhelmingly outweigh the low risk of contracting myocarditis.”
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