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Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet next week to discuss a possible link between heart inflammation and coronavirus vaccines that use messenger RNA technology.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will discuss the issue after a small percentage of vaccinated people — many of them teenagers or young adults — experienced a condition called myocarditis. On Thursday, the CDC said it had identified a total of 216 cases of heart inflammation after an initial dose of an mRNA vaccine and another 573 cases after the second shot. Over 172 million people nationwide have been vaccinated with at least one shot.
“We’re still learning about the rates of myocarditis and pericarditis,” CDC safety expert Tom Shimabukuro said, according to Bloomberg News. “As we gather more information we’ll begin to get a better idea of the post-vaccination rates and hopefully be able to get more detailed information by age group.”
The Food and Drug Administration has allowed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which uses mRNA technology, to be administered on children as young as 12 during the pandemic.
Here are some significant developments:
- Federal regulators have approved and extended the shelf life of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by six weeks, shortly before millions of doses reach their expiration dates.
- With coronavirus vaccines available to adolescents and adults, regulators are now turning their attention to possibly authorizing shots for children as young as 6 months.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during the Group of Seven summit Thursday that member nations will pledge to give 1 billion vaccine doses to poorer countries and help inoculate the world by the end of next year, according to the Associated Press.
- The United States on Wednesday reported a 7-day rolling average of 16,219 new infections. Since Dec. 14, 2020, more than 305 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the U.S.