Myocarditis cases after COVID-19 vaccinations are mild, treatable: Reimer

Dr. Joss Reimer, medical officer of health and medical lead for the Manitoba Vaccine Implementation Task Force speaks about COVID-19 vaccination initiatives and answers media questions during a COVID-19 live-streamed press conference at the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg Friday, March 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Manitoba’s vaccine task force confirmed that a small number of Manitobans have developed myocarditis after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the task force emphasized cases are treatable and mild.

Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead for Manitoba’s Vaccine Implementation Task Force, said for anyone hearing this news and wondering if they should get their vaccine, they should know that COVID-19 also causes myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle.

She added that the cases of myocarditis that develop after COVID-19 infections tend to be more serious than the cases related to the vaccine.

“We know that other viral infections cause myocarditis and they do so at much higher rates than what we’re seeing with the vaccine,” Reimer said.

“Again, most myocarditis cases reported after vaccination are very mild. Some people have been admitted to hospital for observation, but are then sent home to rest and take medications. Others are sent home from initial assessment and are also told to rest and take anti-inflammatory medications."

Reimer noted the myocarditis cases have almost exclusively been detected among young men. Their symptoms include chest pain, a racing heartbeat, and shortness of breath.

She added the fact that Manitoba has been able to detect and diagnose these cases of myocarditis, despite how rare they are, goes to show the effectiveness of the vaccine safety and monitoring system.