Dr. Scott Gottlieb has encouraged people to get vaccinated despite concerns of heart inflammation.
According to recent reports from the CDC, a small percentage of younger people who receive COVID-19 vaccines have developed non-life threatening myocarditis or pericarditis, or heart inflammation. Typical symptoms include chest pain and shortness of breath; of the 270 recorded instances of this occurring, 81% have made a full recovery, while 19% still have symptoms. While relatively small, the occurrence of these reactions are higher than the CDC was anticipating.
Even so, many prominent medical figures are still advising everyone to get vaccinated if they have not yet already. One such figure is Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former chief of the US Food and Drug Administration and current board member of Pfizer.
“At this point, the risk/benefit still favors vaccination certainly in this age group,” Gottlieb told CNBC. “That’s what CDC and FDA have also affirmed.”
Both the CDC and FDA are conducting research into the link between heart inflammation and the vaccines, though so far nothing conclusive has been determined.
“Is this a more generalized inflammatory response from the vaccine that’s localizing in the heart in some patients?” Gottlieb asked. “Or is this something that’s more direct, where the vaccine itself is triggering some kind of very targeted immune reaction and it’s manifesting in this way? We don’t have the answers to these questions.”
Gottlieb also conceded that the actual case number may be higher when factoring in those who haven’t checked themselves into a hospital. Even so, “we are probably capturing most of the severe cases.” He added, “When you look at the number of people who are having severe cases of pericarditis, it’s very small numbers right now.”