Risk of heart problems from COVID-19 vaccine is relatively low, studies say
The risk of developing inflammatory heart conditions after COVID-19 vaccination is relatively low, two large studies found, especially when compared with the heart-related risks from COVID-19 disease itself and from vaccines against other diseases.
One study, an analysis of 22 previous studies, found that the risk of the conditions including myocarditis in people who received a COVID-19 vaccine wasn’t significantly different from that for non-COVID-19 vaccines such as those against flu, polio and measles. And the heart risk associated with COVID-19 shots was lower than the risk after smallpox vaccination. The results of the analysis, which included data on the effects of more than 400 million doses of various vaccines, were published online Monday by The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
Another analysis published April 1 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the risk of cardiac complications including myocarditis, an inflammation of heart muscle, was higher in people after COVID-19 infections than after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
“The overall message is that you can never consider risk in isolation,” said Jason Perry Block, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and a co-author of the CDC’s analysis.
Concerns over potential side effects from COVID-19 vaccines are one reason some eligible adults in the U.S. say they haven’t gotten the shots, according to public-opinion surveys. About 70% of eligible Americans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the CDC.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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