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Canada data: Heart inflammation rates higher after Moderna COVID-19 shot than Pfizer vaccine

Christian Fernsby |
As part of the careful monitoring of these vaccines, reports of rare cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart) after immunization with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines continue to be reported in Canada and around the world.

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Cases of myocarditis and/or pericarditis related to vaccines occur more often in adolescents and adults under 30 years of age, more often in males than in females, more often after a second dose of an mRNA vaccine than after a first dose and most occur within seven days of vaccination.

Vaccine safety surveillance data in Canada also suggest relatively higher rates of myocarditis and/or pericarditis reported after Spikevax (Moderna) vaccination compared to Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech). While follow-up is ongoing, the available data indicate that the majority of affected individuals, even if hospitalized, experience relatively mild illness, respond well to conservative treatment, and recover quickly.

It is also important to consider that the risk of cardiac complications, including myocarditis, has been shown to be substantially increased following SARS-CoV-2 infection, and that it is higher following infection than after vaccination.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), in considering the rare risks and known benefits of COVID-19 vaccines, continues to recommend vaccination with either mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for people 12 years of age and over, given the proven benefits of the vaccines in preventing severe illness and death.

Evidence continues to show that vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, including against variants of concern.

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