CDC investigating possible link between mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and heart inflammation

CHARLOTTE — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is diving deeper into a possible link between messenger RNA coronavirus vaccines, youth patients and a heart condition called myocarditis.

The condition is often linked to a respiratory virus resulting in heart inflammation. Severe cases can affect the heart’s ability to function.

“At least in the pediatric world, this is new for us, but it’s also because we just started vaccinating the younger group,” said Dr. Michael Carboni, a pediatric cardiologist at Duke Health.

The CDC reported more than 300 cases out of more than 20 million adolescents who have been vaccinated. Most of them are males younger than 30 years old.

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Carboni stressed this is extremely rare and most people have recovered quickly.

That prompted the CDC to have an emergency meeting to investigate the issue.

“It started with chest pain and shortness of breath,” Carboni said.

Carboni said he’s seen it firsthand with a 13-year-old patient.

“The majority of what I have taken care of have all gotten better eventually and have a normal heart function now,” Carboni said. “But there is a potential for them having a greater muscle injury, which could cause bigger problems later.”

Parents whom Channel 9 spoke with shared different views on their plans for their children.

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Parent Michelle Orozco said her 13-year-old daughter recently got her first dose this week.

“There were things that went through my head -- as far as risk,” Orozco said. “That’s why I waited a little bit. To be honest, I didn’t get the vaccine as soon as they were vaccinating, because I had some doubt. I had questions.”

In the video at the top of this webpage, reporter DaShawn Brown speaks with Carboni more in depth about myocarditis.