Canadian Cardiovascular Society

Funding will support continued recruitment and follow-up of patients who experienced myocarditis and/or pericarditis after mRNA vaccine or COVID-19 infection

OTTAWA — New funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) will enable top Canadian cardiology researchers and clinicians to continue a large multi-centre and multi-year study on the impact of COVID-19 and mRNA vaccines.

MYCOVACC (Canadian Cardiovascular Society National Active Surveillance Study of MYocarditis and/or Pericarditis following mRNA COVID-19 VACCination) will receive an additional $1.4 million in funding for its third year, bringing the total investment to $5 million. 

Research began during the global pandemic in 2022 amid reports of rare cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the lining surrounding the heart muscle) following mRNA vaccines and COVID-19 infection. At the time, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) mobilized its network of 2,300 members, as well as cardiac care centres and partner organizations across the country, to study the issue in adults and children. 

Funding announced today will support:

  • continued recruitment and detailed follow-up of patients during the third year of the study; 
  • further cardiac imaging and comparisons of vaccine and COVID-19 outcomes; 
  • development of tools to improve reporting of adverse events following vaccination; and,
  • delivery of the latest knowledge into the hands of clinicians, policymakers, and the public.

“Support for the third year of the project will allow us to continue enrolment of new centres and patients to ensure a nationally representative population in our study,” says cardiologist and research leader Dr. Nathaniel Hawkins of the University of British Columbia. As of now, there are over 30 adult and pediatric study sites participating across Canada. 

“Funding will also allow for ongoing follow-up of patients already enrolled, probe the longer-term health effects, assess recovery, and enable us to complete important data analysis,” Dr. Hawkins says. In the end, information from this unique study will help address key information gaps about the issue in Canada and internationally. The results will also support informed decisions about vaccinations, particularly for young adults and children.

As part of the MYCOVACC project, patients are examined using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess the heart. Dr. James White of the University of Calgary, an expert in cardiovascular imaging, says the study “aims to provide more definitive evidence about this condition that, so far, is thought to be rare with rapid recovery and good long-term outcomes. This large-scale, national collaboration will allow us to validate these findings for the Canadian community.”

A recent publication in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology describes the incidence of post-vaccine myocarditis and/or pericarditis as low. The overall incidence rate in Canada is 1.2 per 100,000 vaccine doses, which is consistent with estimates worldwide. Studies in the U.S., Israel, UK and four Nordic countries show the risk of myocarditis following COVID-19 infection is consistently higher than the risk associated with vaccines. Among health professionals, there is a concern that, without accurate information, confidence wanes and fewer people get booster vaccinations, which are the best protection against future waves of disease.

Information about MYCOVACC research is available here:, including patient and healthcare provider resources.

For information, contact:

Stephanie Naday,
Director of Communications, Canadian Cardiovascular Society

About the Canadian Cardiovascular Society:

The CCS is the national voice for cardiovascular clinicians and scientists, representing more than 2,500 cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and other heart health specialists across Canada. We advance heart health for all by setting standards for excellence in heart health and care, building the knowledge and expertise of the heart team, and influencing policy and advocating for the heart health of all Canadians. For further information on the CCS visit:

About the Public Health Agency of Canada:

The Public Health Agency of Canada is part of the federal health portfolio. Its activities focus on preventing disease and injuries, responding to public health threats, promoting good physical and mental health, and providing information to support informed decision making. Visit:

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