Since the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, multiple cases of Myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, have been reported in kids and teens who've gotten the shot.
Dr. Rosemary Olivero, a Pediatric Infectious Disease specialist at Helen Devos Children's Hospital, has treated six young patients who developed the condition after their second dose of the vaccine.
Dr. Olivero has treated one girl and five boys for post-vaccine Myocarditis in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
"Within a couple days of getting their second vaccine, they come in with your typical vaccine side effects, which can include fever, fatigue, achy muscles, and then pain the chest, and then one patient actually had some pain that went down their arm," she said.
She said thankfully, none of these teens were extremely sick. They were all treated in the hospital with Ibuprofen and released.
"They're from all different places, all different school districts, from a pretty large geography. So none of them had any similarities, except obviously 5 of them were males, one was a female. But none of them really had any other underlying issues that were similar in between them," Dr. Olivero said. "They've actually taken it in stride quite a bit, and actually all the families that I've encountered said I wouldn't do anything differently."
For months after, Dr. Olivero said these teens couldn't do sports or tough physical activities.
"If you're a teen athlete and then you hear 'i can't exercise for three months,' that can be earth shattering, you know?" Dr. Olivero said. "Some of our earliest teens who even were athletes have actually resumed their athletic careers and they're doing pretty well, but they do need to be followed by cardiology again, because we just don't know what that long-term affect might be."
Those teens are still being monitored by Cardiologists. Although post-vaccine Myocarditis is rare, Dr. Olivero said she understands why cases like these have parents concerned. Her advice: talk to your doctor.
"We can help boil down this really confusing information, hopefully into actionable information for families," she said. "The risks of the vaccine are far fewer than the risks of getting actual natural COVID itself."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said post-vaccine Myocarditis happens in about one in every 100,000 vaccine doses, and is most common in teen boys.