Updated: June 22, 2021 06:50 PM
Created: June 22, 2021 04:38 PM
Government health officials are meeting Wednesday to learn more about a possible link between the COVID-19 vaccine and more than 300 cases of myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle.
Most of the cases have occurred in males between the ages of 16 and 30, and most often within days of their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The symptoms are typically chest pain, shortness of breath and a pounding or fluttering heartbeat.
"I think families are looking for reassurance," said Dr. Madeleine Gagnon with Gilette Children's Specialty Healthcare.
Gagnon said myocarditis is typically treatable with medication and can also be a side effect of other infections like strep and the flu. She added that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks.
"It is safe and effective in protecting your children. The potential risks or side effects are far outweighed by the benefits of being vaccinated," she said.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's independent vaccine advisory group meets Wednesday to talk about the cases. It will review data and patients' medical history to see if there is a link. However, the group isn't expected to make changes to current vaccine recommendations.
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