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Myocarditis and covid-19 vaccines: How rare is it and who is at risk?

With the mRNA covid-19 vaccines being delivered to growing numbers of young people, researchers are looking again at the rare risk of heart inflammation

Health 30 March 2022

A child receives the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against covid-19 in Paris in December 2021

A child receives the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against covid-19 in Paris in December 2021

GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images

As the UK offers a covid-19 vaccine to children aged 5 to 11, and officials consider the benefits of a fourth jab for adults, we still have an uncertain picture about the risks to the heart.

High-income countries are mainly administering the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to their citizens. Based on mRNA, these contain a strand of genetic material that instructs cells to make the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s spike protein, prompting an immune response that protects against severe …