Study: Only 142 Out of 5 Million Vaccinated Israelis Suffered Heart Inflammation

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
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An Israeli man takes a selfie while receiving the third Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Ramat Gan, Israel, last month.
An Israeli man takes a selfie while receiving the third Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Ramat Gan, Israel, last month.Credit: Oded Balilty,AP
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

An Israeli study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday showed that the risk of heart inflammation after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was very minor.

The study examined cases from the beginning of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in December 2020 until the end of May in which patients who received the vaccine suffered from myocarditis.

The study was conducted by Health Ministry employees, including the head of public health services, Sharon Alroy-Preis, and researchers from Hadassah University Hospital and other medical institutions in the country.

Between December and May, 5.4 million people in Israel were vaccinated with the first dose and 5.1 million received the second. The Health Ministry found 304 cases of myocarditis during this period, 142 of which developed near the time of vaccination.

There were 101 cases in which the patients were not vaccinated. The rest of the cases are of vaccinated patients whose condition was not believed to be related to the shot, as well as reports that were discovered to be incorrect.

An Israeli woman receiving a third shot of COVID-19 vaccine in Tel Aviv, Israel, last month.Credit: AMIR COHEN/ REUTERS

The researchers examined 136 cases of myocarditis in vaccinated patients, a vast majority of whom were hospitalized for a short time with mild symptoms that went away after a few days. One patient died.

The researchers estimate that one out of every 26,000 vaccinated men in all age groups is at risk of developing myocarditis, while one out of every 218,000 women are at risk.

The most at-risk group are men and women between the ages of 16–19. In this group, one out every 6,637 men and boys and one out of every 99,853 women and girls developed the condition.

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