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Q: I’ve heard about a potential side effect concerning the heart in young people after vaccination. Should we be worried?
A: As of May 31, nearly 170 million Americans had received at least one dose of the vaccine. In that time, fewer than 800 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis — inflammation of the tissue around the heart — have been reported after receiving the vaccine, according to the CDC, most of them after the second dose. And these are preliminary numbers — they might be lower as further investigation could show that not all of these people actually had myocarditis or pericarditis.
Myocarditis is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. A different vaccine, one against smallpox, has previously been linked to it. There’s a wide spectrum of myocarditis. Some people don’t feel anything and they’re fine without treatment. For others, it can be deadly.
But generally, when young people developed myocarditis following vaccination, the numbers were small, and the level of sickness was relatively mild.
“Many times, people have myocarditis and don’t even know it. It goes away and they’re fine,” said Dr. Stuart Berger at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. In most of these post-vaccination cases, patients had a full recovery.
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If you, or someone you know, is holding off getting the vaccine out of fear it might affect fertility, take heart — there’s nothing to worry about.
Compared to healthy males without Covid-19, the study found a significant increase in inflammation and oxidative stress in sperm cells belonging to men with Covid-19. Their sperm concentration, mobility and shape were also negatively impacted affected by the virus.
The studies add to existing research studies that shows no evidence of a link between female fertility and Covid-19 vaccines — or any vaccine, for that matter.
“There is no clear scientific reason to think the new vaccine would cause fertility problems in adults. Likewise, there’s no scientific reason to believe it would cause fertility problems in teenagers. Those are the facts, regardless of how old the person is.”
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