Washington DOH monitoring possible rare side effect of COVID vaccine

May 25, 2021, 7:15 AM | Updated: 9:36 am
Johnson Johnson vaccine...
A waiting and observation area at a West Seattle vaccine clinic. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

The Washington Department of Health says it is monitoring the possibility of a rare side effect that health experts say could have been brought on by the COVID-19 vaccine.

This comes following reports of “a small number of cases of myocarditis or pericarditis in some patients” following their second shot. It’s unclear at this time whether the vaccine is the direct cause.

Reported cases include an 18-year-old in Kenmore who developed a heart problem shortly after receiving his second vaccine dose.

Myocarditis presents as “inflammation of the heart tissue,” the DOH says, with symptoms that include chest pain, an abnormal heartbeat, and shortness of breath. Pericarditis is “swelling and irritation of the thin, saclike tissue surrounding the heart.”

Washington state to resume use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

According to the CDC, “reported cases appear to be mild and often go away without requiring treatment.”

State and federal health officials will continue to “gather data and other information” in the meantime.

“Health care providers in Washington, Idaho and Oregon have been notified about this issue so they can be ready to quickly identify symptoms if more cases occur,” the DOH said in a written release.

The side effect was first reported in Israel in 62 people who had received the Pfizer vaccine, out of a total of 5 million vaccines the country had distributed at the time.

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Washington DOH monitoring possible rare side effect of COVID vaccine