On May 27th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance for parents/patients regarding reports of a small number of individuals nationally who developed a rare condition known as myocarditis after recently being vaccinated for COVID-19.

The CDC, and DPH, continue to encourage everyone 12 and older to get vaccinated, as the risk to unvaccinated individuals of contracting COVID-19 and suffering serious illness far exceeds the risk of developing this very rare condition. The CDC continues to evaluate these reported cases, and is encouraging reporting to its national vaccine safety monitoring systems, but thus far the CDC has not found a clear link between vaccine and myocarditis.

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle. While myocarditis can be serious, it is frequently mild and can fully resolve with appropriate treatment. Symptoms can include abnormal heart rhythms, shortness of breath, or chest pain. Myocarditis can be caused by viruses, like the common cold, seasonal flu and COVID-19.

As of May 24th, working with several Connecticut hospitals, DPH has identified 18 people out of nearly 400,000 fully vaccinated 16-34 year olds who have developed myocarditis after recently receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. DPH will continue to monitor and collect data on future reported cases and collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccine safety monitoring.

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association continue to strongly encourage COVID-19 vaccination, as the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the rare possible risk for heart-related complications.