Possible link between heart inflammation and vaccine up for debate by CDC; local cardiologist weighs in

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — The CDC is set to meet Wednesday to discuss a possible link between the COVID-19 vaccine and heart inflammation in young people.

Ahead of the meeting, a local pediatric cardiologist is offering his take on the possible risk.

Dr. Ryan Serrano says a very small number of cases of heart inflammation have been reported ​in comparison to the number of vaccines given. He adds most of the ​cases have not been severe.

“It’s reasonable to be fearful of the unknown and possibilities. I would say, putting it into perspective, the risk of getting COVID, even if you’re healthy or even if you’re not, it outweighs the risk of the vaccine, by far and large,” said Dr. Serrano.

He says the same goes for those who have already had COVID.

“The thought is that the vaccine response is more robust, it is longer, it is more protective than if you were to just get COVID. So we recommend to our patients, even if you have been infected in the past, to get the vaccine.”

Dr. Serrano also says the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risk even for those with heart disease.

“We take care of really sick kids who have really severe heart disease, and it’s easy to think, ‘Oh, I have heart disease therefore I’m more at risk to have this adverse reaction, but that’s just not the case. You’re at more risk of getting severely ill of COVID. So if you have heart disease, it’s even more of a reason to get the vaccine.”

Of the ​tens of millions of young people who have gotten the vaccines, this condition has come up in a few hundred.

While at least one death has been reported, it has not been linked to the vaccine.

The CDC meeting is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. in Atlanta, Georgia. The benefit-risk discussion about vaccines in younger people is on the agenda for 1 p.m.

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