Update from: Dr. Ruth McDonald, VP, Associate Chief Medical Officer (Hospital Operations) and Chief Medical Operations Officer, and Dr. Danielle Zerr, Medical Director, Infection Prevention

In recent weeks, there have been reports of myocarditis occurring after COVID-19 vaccination with Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, including in Europe, where the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently requested data from Pfizer and Moderna on reports of myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination. Washington state public health agencies and the CDC are aware of these reports.

Health care providers should do the following:

  • Consider a diagnosis of myocarditis or pericarditis in any evaluation of chest pain following COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Inquire about recent COVID-19 vaccination in any patient presenting with symptoms consistent with myocarditis or pericarditis.
    • Clinical features of myocarditis and pericarditis include chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, electrocardiogram (EKG) changes and elevated cardiac biomarkers.
    • Elicit a detailed history including vaccination status and potential exposures to COVID-19. Patients should be tested for COVID-19 infection using a molecular (PCR) test.
  • Report such cases promptly to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS): vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html).
    • It is recommended that the evaluating (not administering) provider report the incident to VAERS so appropriate clinical details can be reported accurately.
  • Report cases of myocarditis or pericarditis within two weeks of any COVID-19 vaccination to Public Health – Seattle & King County at 206-296-4774 including information on vaccine manufacturer, vaccination date, dose number as well as history of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.

As part of COVID-19 vaccine safety efforts, the CDC is closely monitoring myocarditis/pericarditis in multiple safety systems, including the VAERS and the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). To date, a safety signal has not been identified in either VAERS or VSD. The CDC will continue to evaluate reports of myocarditis/pericarditis occurring after COVID-19 vaccination and will share more information as it becomes available.

The CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for people 12 years and older.

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