100+ Ontario Youth Sent To Hospital For Vaccine-Related Heart Problems

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In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • As of August 7th, there were 106 incidents of myocarditis/pericarditis in Ontario, Canada in people under the age of 25.

    • There has been 202 emergency room visits across all age groups for such issues following vaccination, with 146 leading to hospitalization.

    • Data from multiple studies show the risk of hospitalization from myocarditis in young people may be greater than the risk of hospitalization from COVID.

  • Reflect On:
    • Has there been an appropriate cost/benefit analysis when it comes to vaccinating children?

    • Should we focus vaccination efforts on the elderly and immunocomprimised?

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A report released in late August by Public Health Ontario (PHO) outlines the number of people in Ontario, Canada who have been hospitalized with heart inflammation following mRNA COVID vaccination.

It shows that as of August 7th, there were 106 incidents of myocarditis/pericarditis in Ontarians under the age of 25.

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium). The inflammation can reduce your heart’s ability to pump blood. Myocarditis typically goes away without complications, but in some cases it can permanently damage your heart muscle and even lead to death.

There have been multiple reports of death from myocarditis following COVID vaccination, including a 13-year-old Michigan boy who died June 16, three days after he received his second dose of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine. Preliminary autopsy results indicated that following his vaccination his heart become enlarged and was surrounded by fluid.

According to the PHO report,

The reporting rate of myocarditis/pericarditis was higher following the second dose of mRNA vaccine than after the first, particularly for those receiving the Moderna vaccine as the second dose of the serious (regardless of the product for the first dose)

PHO adds that the reporting rate for heart inflammation in those 18-24 was seven times higher with Moderna than with Pfizer. (The only vaccine currently used for 12- to 17-year-olds in Ontario is Pfizer.)

There have in total been 202 emergency room visits across all age groups for such issues following vaccination, with 146 leading to hospitalization. Three of these have led to ICU admission.

When broken down by the number of overall people who have received the vaccines, the reporting rate for this side effect is 7.4 per million for Pfizer and 20 per million for Moderna, so it is still quite rare according to this data. That being said, it’s still important to do a proper risk/benefit calculation which appropriately compares this risk from the vaccine, in young people, to the risk of COVID. It is also appropriate to consider that there may be a number of cases that have gone unreported.

An article published by Wesley Pegden, an Associate Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University explains,

On June 23, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) at the CDC met to discuss ongoing reports of myocarditis in young people, particularly young men, after the 2nd dose of mRNA vaccines. In light of these recent reports, the committee was charged with weighing potential harms and benefits associated with 2nd doses of mRNA vaccines. Despite the importance and gravity of the topic, and the high level at which this discussion was taking place, the presentation given to the committee for the purpose of weighing those harms and benefits was fundamentally flawed.

After his analysis in June, he emphasized how the the balance of benefits vs harms is much more delicate, with more cases of hospitalization expected from vaccine-induced myocarditis in 12–17 year olds (even lumping boys and girls together) than COVID-19 associated hospitalizations prevented.

Fast forward to today, and more data has been published supporting this contention. For example, a study out of the University of California concluded there is a higher risk for teenage boys to develop myocarditis after two doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine than there is for them to be hospitalized from COVID-19.

Parents who are hesitant to allow their youngsters to take the shot, despite the fact that parental consent is not even required, also point to the fact that teenagers have nearly a 100 percent survival rate if they do end up with a COVID infection.

The other side of the argument seems to be the youngsters are a big source of community transmission, but we still have lots to learn about asymptomatic spread, and it’s confusing why health policy is not acknowledging the power of natural immunity.

An opinion article published in the European Journal of Medical Ethics in early July 2021 explains why children should not be required or encouraged to take the COVID-19 vaccine at this time for those who are interested.

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