While most folks understand that there are very few true contraindications to getting a COVID vaccine, what about if you have had myocarditis?
“CDC and its partners are actively monitoring reports of myocarditis and pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination. Active monitoring includes reviewing data and medical records and evaluating the relationship to COVID-19 vaccination.”Myocarditis and Pericarditis After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination
Myocarditis as a Contraindication to Getting a COVID Vaccine
As you are likely aware, there have been rare reports of transient myocarditis after COVID vaccination. Fortunately, almost all of these patients recover quickly without complications.
“Myocarditis and/or pericarditis have occurred rarely in some people following receipt of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Among people ≥12 years, cases have occurred predominantly in males aged 12-29 years within the first week after receiving the second dose of vaccine.”Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States
That myocarditis is a risk of getting vaccinated, even if the risk is very small, likely has some people wondering if a prior history of myocarditis should be seen as a contraindication to getting a COVID vaccine.
In other words, if you have ever had myocarditis before, can you now get a COVID vaccine?
Not surprisingly, the answer depends on what triggered your myocarditis…
“There are limited data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in people with a history of myocarditis or pericarditis. People who have a history of myocarditis or pericarditis unrelated to mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (e.g., due to SARS-CoV-2 or other viruses) may receive any currently FDA-approved or FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine after the episode of myocarditis or pericarditis has completely resolved. This includes resolution of symptoms attributed to myocarditis or pericarditis, as well as no evidence of ongoing heart inflammation or sequelae as determined by the person’s clinical team, which may include a cardiologist, and special testing to assess cardiac recovery.”Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States
If you had myocarditis unrelated to a COVID vaccine and you are fully recovered, then yes, you may now get a COVID vaccine.
“There are no data on the safety of administering a subsequent dose of any COVID-19 vaccine to people who had myocarditis or pericarditis after a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. It is unclear if people who developed myocarditis or pericarditis after a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be at increased risk of further adverse cardiac effects following a subsequent dose of the vaccine. Until additional safety data are available, experts advise that people who develop myocarditis or pericarditis after a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine not receive a subsequent dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.“Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States
On the other hand, if you had myocarditis after a previous COVID vaccine dose, then you likely should not get another COVID vaccine unless you truly believe the risks of developing severe COVID outweigh the possible risk of a recurrence of myocarditis.
“For men aged ≥18 years who developed myocarditis or pericarditis after a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and who choose to receive a subsequent dose of COVID-19 vaccine before additional safety data are available, several experts advise the that the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine be considered instead of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.”Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States
If you do get another dose, you should get the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, as a risk of myocarditis has not been seen with this vaccine.
“The risk of myocarditis or pericarditis after receipt of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is lower than the risk of myocarditis associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in adolescents and adults.”Interim Clinical Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccine in Children Ages 5–11 Years
Also remember that a general concern about myocarditis is not a good reason to skip or delay getting vaccinated!
More on COVID Vaccines and Myocarditis
- Heart Problems As a Contraindication to Getting Vaccinated
- More on Transient Myocarditis and COVID Vaccines
- Can COVID-19 Vaccines Cause Myocarditis?
- How Often Do Severe Events Occur After Vaccines?
- COVID-19 Vaccination Questions and Answers
- The Truth About COVID-19 Vaccines
- I’m Not Anti-Vaccine, I Just Don’t Believe in the COVID-19 Vaccine
- CDC – Myocarditis and Pericarditis After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination
- CDC – Clinical Considerations: Myocarditis and Pericarditis after Receipt of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Among Adolescents and Young Adults
- CDC – Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States
- Interim Clinical Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccine in Children Ages 5–11 Years
- Diagnosis and Management of Myocarditis in Children
- CDC – Adverse events among children ages 5–11 years after COVID-19 vaccination: updates from v-safe and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
- Myocarditis and COVID-19 vaccines
- Myocarditis and COVID mRNA vaccines – very rare adverse event
- Myocarditis and COVID-19 mRNA vaccines