Local expert says COVID vaccine can cause rare heart condition in kids, but still recommends shot

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A medic places two vials of COVID-19 coronavirus vaccines (L to R): Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, on a table before administering doses at a Clalit Health Services Medical Centre in east Jerusalem on August 10, 2021. (Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP) (Photo by HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The push continues from health officials around the country for Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

But some parents are hesitant to get their children the shots because of a rare heart​ condition being seen in kids around the globe.

Myocarditis is a rare health condition that causes inflammation around the heart. 6 News spoke with a doctor at the University of Michigan who is considered a specialist in the field. He says Roughly 1 in 20,000 children who get a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine develop myocarditis.

While concerning, he also says most children recover quickly.

“Most of the time the symptoms are mild. They are usually things like chest pain and difficulty breathing.”

Dr. Jesse Hansen is a pediatric cardiologist. He works with children who develop myocarditis and says he typically sees the inflammation five days after they’ve gotten their second vaccine dose.

“Most kids are having very mild symptoms. Most of these kids get some ibuprofen or other antiinflammatory medicine and are discharged within 24 hours of coming into the hospital.”

Other side effects of myocarditis are dizziness and fatigue.

Dr. Hansen says they can last a few days and they usually go away on their own.

“While it’s scary to think about myocarditis coming from a vaccine, a medicine that we’re giving to a healthy kid I think the upside of that the way we can prevent other things that happen down the road in balance is much more effective, much safer to go ahead and go forward with a vaccine.”

If your child develops this rare condition Dr. Hansen recommends they take it easy, rest and stay away from competitive sports.

He also strongly suggests kids 12 and up continue to get the full two doses of the vaccine.

“What we know is for every million kids that get their second dose of the vaccine somewhere in the range of 35 to 45 of those kids will get myocarditis from the vaccine, but those same one million vaccines will prevent 11,000 cases of COVID, 560 hospitalizations, and 140 ICU admissions.”

Dr. Hansen says at the moment, they haven’t seen patterns of the condition coming back.

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