Heart inflammation has been identified as an extremely rare side-effect of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, according to European regulators.

BBC News reports that researchers found that inflammation of the heart muscle, known as myocarditis, and inflammation of the health’s fluid-filled sac, known as pericarditis, have occurred particularly in men aged under 40 following their second jab.

It has led to people being advised to avoid any exercise for 48 hours following getting their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, but regulators continue to insist that the benefits of getting the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the UK Government’s independent expert advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), has conducted a review into the potential harm of the vaccine.

The MHRA stated: “Healthcare professionals should be alert to the signs and symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis.

“Vaccinated individuals should be advised to seek immediate medical attention should they experience new onset of chest pain, shortness of breath or symptoms of arrhythmia.”

The researchers state that the cases are typically mild, and individuals tend to recover within a short time, following standard treatment and rest

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) analysed cases across Europe and found:

  • Pfizer: 145 cases of myocarditis and 138 cases of pericarditis out of 177 million doses given
  • Moderna: 19 cases of myocarditis and 19 cases of pericarditis out of 20 million doses given
  • Five people died. The review said they were all either elderly or had other health conditions.

Myocarditis and pericarditis will be officially listed as side effects in the UK and Europe, mirroring a move by the regulators in the US last month.

“The chance of these conditions occurring is very low, but you should be aware of the symptoms so that you can get prompt medical treatment to help recovery and avoid complications,” the EMA said.

There was no link found for vaccines such as Oxford-AstraZeneca or Janssen, which use a genetically modified virus.

If you’d like more information about inflammation of the heart muscle and our myocarditis charity, visit our website today.