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Dear Monica,

I’m still on the fence about getting my child vaccinated and especially worried about heart inflammation, what should I do?

Local researchers out of Case Western Reserve University and MetroHealth pored over electronic medical records of thousands of young people aged 12 to 19 from 48 different hospitals. They found the risk for myocarditis/pericarditis (heart inflammation) among male teens (12 to 17) diagnosed with COVID-19 is nearly six times higher than their combined risk following first and second doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.

The risk for myocarditis/pericarditis among girls (ages 12 to 17) is 21 times greater from COVID-19 than from vaccines.

“I am a pediatrician and a father, and like many parents I was concerned,” said co-author Dr. David Kaelber, professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland and chief medical information officer at MetroHealth System.

“Even with our calculations made to qualify possible gaps in the data from this large dataset, our findings still point to a higher risk of myocarditis/pericarditis among teens who get COVID-19,” Kaelber said. “Based on our findings, on my daughter’s 12th birthday, we went to get her a COVID-19 vaccination to be sure she is protected, and to protect other members of our family. With the highly contagious Delta variant going around, and the new school year around the corner, this is a good time for parents to be reassured that vaccination is safer for their kids than getting COVID-19.”

Monica Robins is the Senior Health Correspondent at 3News. The information provided in this column is for educational and informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this column or on our website.


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