Investigation of Long-Term Effects of Myocarditis after mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination

CDC is actively investigating reports of people developing myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) after receiving a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). Most of these people fully recover, but information is not yet available about potential long-term effects. Understanding long-term health effects is critically important to explaining the risks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination to the public and informing clinical guidance.

Therefore, CDC is conducting surveys of patients (or their parents or guardians) and healthcare providers to gather information about myocarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination. These surveys will help CDC learn more about the health effects of myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination and understand any association between myocarditis and COVID-19 vaccination.

Participating in the survey

CDC is contacting people who meet the case definition for myocarditis following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination. To meet the case definition, people must have had

  • symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart and
  • medical tests to support the diagnosis of myocarditis and rule out other causes.

To be eligible to participate in this survey, at least 90 days must have passed since myocarditis symptoms began.

People may get a letter in the mail or receive a phone call from CDC inviting them to participate. They will be asked questions about their myocarditis and medical history. Personal information and responses will be kept private to the extent allowable under the law. When the patient is a minor, a parent or legal guardian will be invited to participate on their behalf.

How did CDC get my contact information?

CDC got your contact information from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERSexternal icon), a secure system that contains information needed to check in with patients to see how they are recovering after they experience a serious event following vaccination. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires healthcare professionals to report to VAERS certain serious adverse events and hospitalizationsexternal icon that occur after COVID-19 vaccination.

How is CDC using my information?

The information you provide will contribute to what we know about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Personal details that could identify you will be kept private and information about your case will be combined with information from other participants. The combined information will be used to educate healthcare professionals and the public about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Also, CDC and FDA will use this information to guide recommendations on the safe use of COVID-19 vaccines.

For you and others who experienced myocarditis after receiving an mRNA vaccine, scientists will be looking at health effects such as:

  • Changes in your health, physical ability, or quality of life
  • How your heart recovers from myocarditis

How will CDC protect my information?

Your name and any identifying information will not be included in any reports. Your responses and personal information will be kept private to the extent allowable under the law. CDC strictly follows security measures to keep your personal information private.

Why is CDC contacting my healthcare provider?

Having information on medications you take and your test results can provide a more complete picture of your health following myocarditis. Your healthcare provider can provide this information, which is important as we try to understand more about myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination.

How to report health problems after vaccination

You or your healthcare professional can report any adverse events or health problems after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS by filling out an online formexternal icon or a PDF formexternal icon. FDA requires healthcare professionals to report certain adverse eventsexternal icon that occur after administering COVID-19 vaccine, but anyone can submit a report to VAERS, including you. Reports to VAERS are important to understanding the safety of COVID-19 vaccines as more people receive them over time. If you need further assistance with reporting to VAERS, please email or call 1-800-822-7967.

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