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"This new virus forced too many of our families to accept death as its outcome for too many of our loved ones, but now, this should not be the case."

Benefits of vaccination outweigh risk of myocarditis

Some fears surrounding getting inoculated against the virus involve reports of heart inflammation, but CDC researchers say the benefits of the vaccines far outweigh the risks.

The US Food and Drug Administration expects to add a warning about the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis to information sheets for Covid-19 mRNA vaccines, an FDA official said Wednesday.

Myocarditis results from inflammation of the heart muscle and pericarditis is inflammation of tissue surrounding the heart.

For every million second-dose vaccinations, there may be tens of myocarditis cases, CDC researchers told the agency's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices during a virtual meeting on Wednesday.

On the other hand, for every 1 million second-dose vaccinations, 5,700 Covid-19 cases, 215 hospitalizations, 71 intensive care unit admissions and two deaths would be prevented, the data show.

He emphasized that in most cases, "there's typically quick resolution," but long-term data are still needed.

Following the committee's discussion, an unusual alliance of government and health agencies and groups signed a joint statement endorsing vaccination.

"As physicians, nurses, public health and health care professionals, and, for many of us, parents, we understand the significant interest many Americans have in the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, especially for younger people," the long list of medical groups said in a joint statement.

"Because, quite honestly, we want to make sure that if we see more disease out there, we have a mechanism, we're fully ready to combat it."

Researchers at the CDC are closely monitoring data to consider whether Covid-19 vaccine booster shots may be needed in the future -- especially for at-risk groups.

Those include residents of long-term care facilities, adults 65 and older, health care personnel and immunocompromised patients.

The information that would help researchers decide if boosters are necessary and who would get them could come in part from a rise in so-called breakthrough cases, federal vaccine advisors said.

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