5/26/2021- Myocarditis or pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other state health agencies are aware of reports of myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination. To ensure all possible cases are identified, DOH is requesting that health care providers:

  • Consider a diagnosis of myocarditis or pericarditis in any evaluation of chest pain following COVID-19 vaccination
  • Inquire about recent COVID-19 vaccination in any patient presenting with symptoms consistent with myocarditis or pericarditis (chest pain or pressure, or shortness of breath, EKG abnormalities); and
  • Report such cases promptly to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS: https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html).
  • It is recommended that the evaluating (not administering) provider report the incident to VAERS so that appropriate clinical details can be reported accurately.
  • Report cases of myocarditis or pericarditis within 2 weeks of any COVID-19 vaccination to the Whatcom County Health Department (Report Line 360-778-6150 or fax 360-778-6103), including information on vaccine manufacturer, vaccination date, dose number as well as history of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. If details on vaccine are note available to the reporter, WCHD may be able to access that information, so do not delay reporting for the sake of complete vaccination history.

Further investigation is needed to determine if these illnesses might be associated with vaccination or if they are possibly due to other health factors including coronavirus disease (COVID-19). DOH is actively working with the CDC, local public health, and health care providers on this investigation.

In depth review of available reports of myocarditis or pericarditis is in progress and DOH is aware of persons, including some adolescents, with myocarditis that may be temporally associated with receipt of COVID-19 vaccination. The current reports under review appear to indicate mild symptoms in some individuals who have been vaccinated.

To help us continue to monitor for this emerging concern and to inform the national assessment, the DOH asks that providers be alert for pericarditis or myocarditis following vaccination and report any such patient illnesses promptly to VAERS and notify your local health jurisdiction. Providers are asked to report any cases with symptoms within the two weeks following COVID-19 vaccination, including both first and second doses of vaccine.

Clinical features of myocarditis and pericarditis include chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, electrocardiogram (EKG) changes and elevated cardiac biomarkers. Providers should ask for detailed history including vaccination status and potential exposures to or diagnosis of COVID-19. Patients should be tested for COVID-19 infection using a molecular (PCR) test.

Common side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccines include soreness at the injection site, fatigue and headache. Less common side effects include muscle aches, chills, joint pain, vomiting, and fever. Most symptoms resolve after a day or two.

Given the long-term and sometimes unknown impact of COVID-19 infection, DOH and CDC continue to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for people 12 years of age and older.

For more information, contact:

Whatcom County Health Department Communicable Disease Program

1500 N State Street, Bellingham WA 98225

360-778-6100 Main | 360-778-6150 24-hour Communicable Disease Program Report Line

360-778-6101 Fax