The art of momentous decision-making, it’s a head-spinning, see-sawing exercise as one weighs up risks and benefits, assesses pros and cons, and balances argument with counter-argument. The process is arguably more charged when making the decision for another. As the vaccine rollout descends down the ages, teenagers are receiving the jab, propelling one parent into debate and deliberation. Recent news reports of vaccine-induced myocarditis in teenagers have left a mother undecided as to whether her child should take the jab. Dr Child is here to dispense sound advice.

Q: My teenage Marfan son has been offered the vaccine and I don’t know what to do. I’m alarmed by the news reports talking of the risk of myocarditis in teenagers who’ve had the vaccine. What should I do?

A: Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and the tissues surrounding the heart (pericarditis). This is rare in teenagers after the COVID-19 vaccination, occurring in around 1 in 6,000. More cases of myocarditis appeared in the teenaged unvaccinated population, so the vaccine does protect against serious side-effects, hospitalization, and death.

The Pfizer vaccine has been provisionally approved for people 12 years of age and older. Myocarditis occurs more often in young men, who present with chest pain within four days after the vaccine. It is treatable with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and rarely intravenous steroids are required. All the reported cases recovered.

Vaccination in adolescence is anticipated to contribute to a reduction in transmission to a broader population, to reduce school-based transmission, and to reduce disruption to the teenager’s education.

The Department of Health are offering only one dose for maximum benefit (about 85 per cent immunity), and minimum risk of side-effects. The risk of myocarditis is extremely low anyway, but more cases develop after the second dose, which is being omitted.

We have questionnaire evidence that our Marfan supporters are tolerating COVID infection without serious side effects.

If you do not have the vaccine and catch COVID, there is a risk of myocarditis.

You are probably not at any increased risk of myocarditis, just because you have Marfan syndrome. I would suggest, if you are still doubtful, and at any age, just having the first dose of vaccine. For further information click here

Marfan Trust, a CIO registered as a charity in England in Wales with charity number 1198847 at: c/o 24 Oakfield Lane, Keston, Kent, BR2 6BY. Contact us at [email protected] or by phone on + 44 (0)333 011 5256
Log in | Powered by White Fuse