Myocarditis and Pericarditis following COVID-19 Vaccination: Inequalities in Age and Vaccine Types

J Pers Med. 2021 Oct 28;11(11):1106. doi: 10.3390/jpm11111106.


An increasing number of myocarditis/pericarditis incidences has been reported after coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccination in adolescents and young adults. This study was designed to investigate the incidence rate of-and risk for-myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination in the United States according to age and vaccine type. This study used the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) from 11 December 2020 to 13 August 2021. A population-based data mining approach was performed based on the reporting odds ratio (ROR). Adverse events of myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination were rare, with an incidence rate of 5.98 (95% CI = 5.73-6.24) cases per million doses administered. The incidence rate was higher in adolescents and after the administration of the second dose of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. Overall, two mRNA vaccines were significantly associated with increased risks for myocarditis/pericarditis (mRNA-1273 (Moderna): ROR = 2.91, 95% CI = 2.21-3.83; BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech): ROR = 5.37, 95% CI = 4.10-7.04) compared to all other vaccines from VAERS. The viral vector vaccine of Ad26.COV2.S (Janssen) was not associated with signals of myocarditis/pericarditis (ROR = 1.39; 95% CI = 0.99-1.97). This study found increased risks for myocarditis/pericarditis following mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. For patients at high risk for myocarditis/pericarditis or with myocardial injuries, the viral vector vaccine may be an alternative for consideration.

Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine; age; mRNA vaccine; myocarditis; pericarditis.