The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declined to provide updated information on myocarditis and pericarditis cases that have occurred after individuals have been administered the COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC has acknowledged that the vaccine can cause these inflammatory conditions. During a meeting on September 12, the CDC did not make any mention of Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) data.
When asked for more information, the spokesperson for the CDC directed the public to a study that only has data up until October 23, 2022. The spokeswoman also stated that “when appropriate, the updated safety data will be published.”
However, this response was not satisfactory for many, including Barbara Loe Fisher, the co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center.
At the meeting, Dr. Nicola Klein, a Kaiser Permanente doctor, presented data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink, which covers a smaller population than VAERS. She said that through March 11, only two cases of myocarditis were identified in the VSD.
Despite the lack of data from VAERS, Dr. Andrew Pavia, chief of the University of Utah’s Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, said that there was no “detectable risk” of the bivalent shots causing myocarditis.
However, a search of VAERS revealed that 98 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis were reported following bivalent vaccination through September 8.
At the meeting, CDC official Megan Wallace said that there were limited data to assess the risk of myocarditis following an updated mRNA dose. Furthermore, Dr. Oliver Brooks, chief medical officer at Watts Healthcare Corporation, said that “feel good about the fact that in the bivalent we saw no signal from myocarditis.”
However, the vaccine label for the new mRNA shots states that “post-marketing data with authorized or approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccines demonstrate increased risks of myocarditis and pericarditis, particularly within the first week following vaccination.”
Dr. Pablo Sanchez, the only member to oppose a widespread recommendation for the vaccine, said that the risk of myocarditis was a factor that caused him to take a negative stance on the vaccine.