A review of COVID-19 vaccination and the reported cardiac manifestations

Singapore Med J. 2021 Nov 19. doi: 10.11622/smedj.2021210. Online ahead of print.


In Singapore, 9.03 million doses of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have been administered, and 4.46 million people are fully vaccinated. An additional 87,000 people have been vaccinated with vaccines in World Health Organization's Emergency Use Listing. The aim of this review is to explore the reported cardiac adverse events associated with different types of COVID-19 vaccines. 42 studies that reported cardiac side effects after COVID-19 vaccination were included in this study. Reported COVID-19 vaccine-associated cardiac adverse events were mainly myocarditis and pericarditis, most commonly seen in adolescent and young adult male individuals after mRNA vaccination. Reports of other events such as acute myocardial infarction, arrhythmia and stress cardiomyopathy were rare. Outcomes of post-vaccine myocarditis and pericarditis were good. Given the good vaccine efficacy and the high number of cases of infection, hospitalisation and death that could potentially be prevented, COVID-19 vaccine remains of overall benefit, based on the current available data.

Keywords: COVID-19; cardiac side effects; myocarditis; pericarditis; vaccination.