Top scientists continue to be concerned about the risk of mRNA Covid booster shot causing heart inflammation in young adults. Dr. Ofer Leviy, a member of the advisory panel for Food and Drug Administration, stated Friday.
Levy, who is the director of Precision Vaccines at Boston Children's Hospital spoke hours after the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee unanimously recommended that all recipients of Johnson & Johnson's single dose Covid vaccine over 18 years of age receive second shots.
The FDA should approve boosters from Moderna or Pfizer for seniors and high-risk individuals. Some committee members expressed concern about third-mRNA doses being approved for individuals 12 years old and older due to the possibility of myocarditis or pericarditis, which are rare conditions that can cause inflammation in the heart.
Levy said that as we age, our risk of severe Covid is decreasing and they are less likely to develop inflammatory heart conditions with the mRNA vaccination. "So it's risk benefit analysis and that's why we're seeing that deliberation."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, myocarditis is rare, but it has been reported in young adults and male adolescents who have received Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. The CDC stated that most cases resolve within days of the first dose and can be treated with medication and rest.
The CDC states that J&J's Covid shot does not pose a risk of heart inflammation like Moderna and Pfizer's mRNA vaccines. J&J has provided primary vaccines for over 15 million Americans.
Two-dose mRNA options may be more effective than one, according to data from J&J. However, J&J submitted a study that demonstrated that a second dose of mRNA increased protection against symptomatic infections by 72% to 94%.