Inflammation of the heart muscle also possible after a booster vaccination

The corona vaccination can cause different – ​​mostly harmless – reactions and side effects. In rare cases, there are serious consequences of vaccination – one of these complications is inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), which can occur particularly in younger men.

Cases of  myocarditis  have been increasingly registered in Israel, and patients with the vaccination complication have already been treated in Germany. Recent data from an American health insurance company show that young men in particular are affected after the second dose. In addition, new evaluations from Israel indicate that heart muscle inflammation is also possible after a booster vaccination with BioNTech/Pfizer.

Heart muscle inflammation mostly affects younger people

Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) is an inflammatory disease of the heart muscle. This can be chronic or acute, with acute myocarditis turning into chronic inflammation.

In Israel, 21 out of 938,812 vaccinated people fell ill. The American insurance registered 15 cases out of 2,292,924 insured persons, 13 occurred after the second dose.

Myocarditis progressed without complications in most patients: they recovered completely after conservative treatment, and so far there have been no late effects.

According to the Reuters news agency, cases of myocarditis were also recorded after the booster vaccination with the mRNA vaccines – but fewer than ten. All patients were male, three between 16 and 29 years old, six between 30 and 59. In addition, eight other cases are currently being examined. Overall, the courses of myocarditis are mild.

Myocarditis in adolescents: register planned

In order to be able to evaluate the corona vaccination in children and adolescents, the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) is collaborating with the registry for children and adolescents with suspected myocarditis (MYKKE registry) to collect data on possible myocarditis.

Children and adolescents who develop myocarditis after a COVID-19 vaccination are examined for twelve months according to diagnostic and treatment standards.

The following data should be recorded:

  • Frequency of vaccination side effects
  • Characterization of the severity of the disease
  • disease and healing process

The results should help to be able to better assess the vaccines and their safety in children and adolescents.

Since, according to the current state of knowledge, younger men in particular can develop heart muscle inflammation after vaccination with the mRNA vaccines, the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) has taken this aspect into account in the recommendation for corona vaccination in its benefit-risk assessment. The disease usually occurs a few days after the second vaccination and is uncomplicated in most cases.

Myocarditis also possible after other vaccinations

According to the American drug agency, heart muscle inflammation is not limited to the corona vaccination. The complication can also occur after vaccinations against the following infections:

However, the risk of developing myocarditis after a viral disease and infections is significantly higher: the probability is 18 times greater after a COVID-19 infection than after a corona vaccination.

Recognizing myocarditis: Common symptoms

Heart muscle inflammation can occur at any age. Triggers include viruses, bacteria,  fungi  and parasites. Doctors often advise against sport during a mild or severe  cold  , as this can promote the development of heart muscle inflammation.

Patients usually fall ill a few days to weeks after an infection. The most common symptoms of heart muscle inflammation are:

Inflammation of the heart muscle can also progress without symptoms and heal without any problems. However, long-term consequences in the form of a permanent impairment of the heart function are possible. If myocarditis is suspected, medical advice should always be sought.


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