Sudbury

Timmins, Sudbury health units following reports of cases of heart inflammation following mRNA vaccinations

Two health units in northeastern Ontario — Public Health Sudbury & Districts and the Porcupine Health Unit — are following reports of heart inflammation following mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations.

Health unit following up on reports of heart inflammation following second dose

Health units in the northeast following reports of some cases of heart inflammation following use of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech, shown here, and Moderna. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Two health units in northeastern Ontario — Public Health Sudbury & Districts and the Porcupine Health Unit — are following reports of heart inflammation after mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations in certain jurisdictions.

Myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, inflammation of the lining around the heart, can cause shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. The cases were first reported by Israel and the United States in May.

Public Health Ontario has reports of 19 cases since June 12, although there is no clear link between the vaccines and heart inflammation, officials with the Porcupine Health Unit say.

In a statement, Public Health Sudbury & Districts said they are carefully following the investigations.

"Public Health also wishes to advise on its processes to ensure that everyone who receives a vaccine is fully informed."

 "Although all jurisdictions, including Ontario, continue to recommend COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 12 years of age and older given the risk of COVID-19 illness and related, possibly severe complications, it is important for people to be informed," Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of Health with PHSD, said in the statement. 

"The investigations to date have not led Ontario to change any of its vaccine guidance.

"As part of our vaccination program, however, all immunizers are required to share information on known or potential vaccine side-effects to ensure that consent to vaccination is informed."

In Timmins, the Porcupine Health Unit is doing the same.

Dr. Lianne Catton, chief medical officer with the PHU, said "there are clear benefits of mRNA vaccines in reducing complications, hospitalizations and preventing death due to COVID-19 infections.

"Second doses are even more important in optimal protection levels," given concerns across Ontario over the delta variant, which is also known as B.1.617.2 and was first detected in India. 

According to the PHU, international reports indicate the following:

  • Cases of myocarditis and pericarditis were more commonly reported after the second dose.
  • Symptoms typically appeared within several days following vaccination.
  • Cases were mainly among adolescents and young adults.
  • Cases were among males more often than females.
  • Cases experienced mild illness and symptoms improved quickly (they responded well to conservative treatment such as anti-inflammatories and rest).

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