Boys more likely to be hospitalised with rare side-effect of Pfizer vaccine than covid itself, claims US study

The study alleged that most children who experienced the rare side-effect of the vaccine began showing symptoms within days of receiving the second shot of the vaccine.

Healthy adolescent boys are more likely to be hospitalised with a rare side-effect of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine, as opposed to the virus itself, a study by US researchers has shown.

The researchers assessed medical data which showed that boys aged 12 to 15, with no pre-existing medical conditions, are four to six times more likely to be diagnosed with vaccine-induced myocarditis — or inflammation of the heart — than being hospitalised with Covid.

The team of researchers from the University of California were able to find 257 vaccine-related cardiac ailments in recipients of both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The rate of such heart issues per million among 12-15-year-old boys was 162.2, while it was 94.0 in boys between the ages of 16 and 17. For girls, the rates were 13.4 and 13 cases per million.

The study alleged that most children who experienced the rare side-effect of the vaccine began showing symptoms within days of receiving the second shot of the vaccine. Around 86 per cent of the boys affected required some form of hospital care, The Guardian reported.

“For boys 16-17 without medical comorbidities, the rate of CAE is currently 2.1 to 3.5 times higher than their 120-day Covid-19 hospitalisation risk, and 1.5 to 2.5 times higher at times of high weekly Covid-19 hospitalisation,” states the study, which is yet to be peer-reviewed.

Earlier this year, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about rare cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults to fact sheets for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. While the US continues to permit all children above the age of 12 to receive the Covid vaccine, the UK is taking a more cautious approach, offering the vaccine to only those above 16 years of age and at-risk children in the 12-15 age group.

However, the reliability of the study is still unclear, since vaccine reactions are recorded differently in the United States and the UK, where shots are given after longer intervals.

In an independent report, the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said that while the benefits of vaccinations are “marginally greater”, there is “considerable uncertainty regarding the magnitude of the potential harms.”

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