On Sunday April 25, 2021, Israel’s Health Ministry announced its plans to investigate 62 cases of heart muscle and membrane inflammation in individuals who have received the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. More than 5 million people in Israel have been given the Pfizer vaccine, according to Israel’s pandemic response coordinator, Nachman Ash.
The condition, known as myocarditis, has developed in 1 out of 100,000 people who received the Pfizer vaccine. This incident rate is considerably higher than what would normally be expected in the general population. The incident rate of myocarditis among men aged 18 to 30 is 1 out of 20,000.
Israel’s Health Ministry has stated that, currently, there is not enough data to suggest a higher rate of mortality in patients with heart inflammation and who have received the Pfizer vaccine.
“It looks like the benefit of the vaccine is so great that even if we do find a connection between some of the cases and the vaccine, it won’t be justified to take any action regarding the vaccine.”
A conclusive link between myocarditis and the Pfizer vaccine could prove to be difficult, as Nachman Ash pointed out in a recent news conference, as it will often subside on its own and can be caused by any number of factors.
Ash has gone on to say, “It looks like the benefit of the vaccine is so great that even if we do find a connection between some of the cases and the vaccine, it won’t be justified to take any action regarding the vaccine.”
Pfizer is aware of the ongoing investigations taking place in Israel and has issued a statement saying, “We have not observed a higher rate of myocarditis than what would be expected in the general population,” and added that “A causal link to the vaccine has not been established. There is no evidence at this time to conclude that myocarditis is a risk.”
Israel has been atop some of the world’s leading vaccinators, with a total vaccination rate of over 60%. Since January of this year, daily infections in Israel have dropped from their peak of 10,000 to just 129 over the weekend.
For now, a link between the Pfizer vaccine and heart inflammation has yet to be conclusively determined. Studies have shown that the Pfizer vaccine, in Israel and across the world, to be substantially effective in preventing both hospitalization and death caused by COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) have both added to the conversation surrounding the potential risk of heart inflammation due to the Pfizer vaccine, stating that, “at this point, there is no safety signal for myocarditis or pericarditis for COVID-19 vaccines in U.S. monitoring systems.”
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