WHO experts believe benefits of mRNA anti-coronavirus vaccines outweigh risks

Experts of the World Health Organization believe that the benefits of mRNA vaccines against the novel coronavirus outweigh the risk of developing myocarditis and pericarditis, the COVID-19 subcommittee of the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) said in a statement, published on Friday, TASS reported. 

"The benefits of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the risks in reducing hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 infections," the subcommittee said.

According to the experts, "very rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been observed following vaccination with the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines." These cases occurred "more often in younger men and after the second dose of the vaccine, typically within few days after vaccination."

The experts stressed that "vaccinated individuals should be instructed to seek immediate medical attention if they develop symptoms indicative of myocarditis or pericarditis."

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and pericarditis is an inflammation of the lining that surrounds the heart. According to WHO experts, more information about people developing those conditions after being vaccinated against COVID-19 with mRNA vaccines was coming from different countries.

The WHO statement says the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has concluded that "the benefits of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines continue to outweigh the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis even among young people." According to the data in the US Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), approximately 40.6 cases of myocarditis per million second doses among males and 4.2 cases per million among females have been reported as of 11 June 2021 in persons 12-29 years of age who received the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. For persons over 30 years of age, the reporting rates were 2.4 and 1.0 per million second doses, respectively, for males and females.


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