Lowcountry doctors weigh-in on heart complications related to COVID and vaccines

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 6:48 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As anyone five years old or older is now eligible to receive a COVID vaccine, more parents are expressing concerns about possible side effects.

Dr. Kenneth Perry is assistant medical director for Trident’s Emergency Department. He, along with Dr. Elizabeth Mack with MUSC Children’s Health, say both pericarditis and myocarditis are common side effects of any virus and vaccine, not just the COVID-19 virus or vaccine.

“We’ve had about 300 kid cases of COVID MIS-C in the children’s hospital since the beginning of the pandemic, and we’ve had zero that were vaccinated,” Mack said. “And many of those also had myocarditis, either related to COVID or MIS-C, you can get it either way.”

Mack says myocarditis is associated with hundreds or viruses and bacteria, auto-immune diseases, and medications.

While Mack and Perry both say the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks, Perry says parents should look out for symptoms.

“It seems to be much more irregular chest discomfort, chest pain,” Perry said. “And that seems to be something that if your child is concerned about or discusses with you, certainly get in touch with your primary care doctor and obviously we’re in the emergency department 24 hours a day.”

Symptoms of myocarditis include chest pain, shortness of breath, and palpitations.

Perry says they don’t have any good indicators right now about certain pre-standing conditions causing myocarditis. However, he says younger males seem to be at a little higher risk for it.

He says knowing this, the benefits of the COVID vaccine still out-weigh the risk of myocarditis.

“We know that myocarditis can be very concerning obviously. But for most people if they get it in the post-vaccine phase, they actually do well and can return to normal activities within a very short amount of time,” Perry said.

If you have questions about vaccinating your kids, you are encouraged to talk to a pediatrician first.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.