OU Health Doctor Explains Risk Of Myocarditis With COVID-19 Vaccine Versus COVID-19 Virus

Wednesday, September 1st 2021, 4:49 pm
By: Kelsey Kernstine

Recent reports out of New Zealand said a women is dead after getting the Pfizer vaccine, and her death was to myocarditis.

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart. Symptoms of the illness include chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, and shortness of breath.

“The virus itself goes into the heart cells and creates an immune response locally there and that causes myocarditis," OU Health’s Dr. Stavros Stavrakis said.

According to research, developing myocarditis is more likely and more deadly from COVID-19 than it is from the vaccines against the virus.

"If you vaccinate a million people, 12 of them will have myocarditis," Stavrakis said.

On the flip side, if you get the COVID-19 virus without being vaccinated, myocarditis is nearly 10,000 more times likely.

"You have a 10% chance of having myocarditis with the disease,” Stavrakis said.

While the there is a chance of developing myocarditis, the inflammation is unlikely to be deadly, Stavrakis said.

“Death from myocarditis is rare. In the very severe cases, you can go into congestive heart failure,” he said.

More commonly, according to research, two-thirds of people recover from myocarditis with no problems and one-third of patients may have long-term heart damage.

"I want to urge people to get vaccinated. That is the way for you to prevent myocarditis,” Stavrakis said.

Health care professionals said if you do get myocarditis after your first dose, it is recommended to wait to get your second does, but to discuss it with your medical doctor first.