OTTAWA, ON, Oct. 27, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress where more than 1200 cardiovascular specialists and allied health professionals have gathered, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer and Interim Vice-President of the Infectious Diseases Programs Branch, announced funding to support a pan-Canadian study of the clinical and functional outcomes of adults and children who experienced myocarditis and/or pericarditis after receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.
The Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) will receive $1,6 million from the Government of Canada to conduct the study. As a national organization representing more than 2300 cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and other heart health specialists across the country, and with a broad network, the CCS is well positioned to lead this initiative.
“Myocarditis and pericarditis occur rarely following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination,” says Dr. Nathaniel Hawkins, Centre for Cardiovascular Innovation at the University of British Columbia and the project’s scientific lead. “Most people recover quickly and well, but the long-term health effects of these heart conditions are unknown.”
The information collected through this study can significantly impact confidence in vaccines, particularly among young adults, children, and their parents. The study will provide critical information to support informed decision-making about vaccination and guide public health agencies in development of vaccine programs for boosters and new variants.
The CCS will involve its members and cardiac centres across Canada as well as collaborate with researchers, established research networks, patients, and public health authorities from across the country throughout the project. Adults and children from across Canada who experienced post-mRNA myocarditis and/or pericarditis will be asked to participate in the study.
“The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the ongoing health and safety of Canadians. One way we can do this is by expanding on our already robust post-market vaccine safety surveillance systems, including surveillance related research to help better understand the long-term outcomes of vaccination, including relatively rare events such as myocarditis and pericarditis. This is an important way to equip Canadians with additional information so that they can make informed decisions to protect themselves and have the confidence in doing so.”
Dr. Howard Njoo
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer and Interim Vice-President of the Infectious Diseases
“The Canadian Cardiovascular Society is excited to lead this important study into the health outcomes of myocarditis and pericarditis following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination. As the national voice for cardiovascular clinicians and scientists, the CCS is extremely well-placed to undertake this study. By engaging the expertise of our membership and Affiliate organizations, we will address a critical knowledge gap and make a valuable contribution to public trust in vaccine safety.”
Dr. Marc Ruel,
President of the CCSAbout Canadian Cardiovascular Society
The CCS is the national voice for cardiovascular clinicians and scientists, representing more than 2,300 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: https://www.ccs.ca/en/.
What are myocarditis and pericarditis?
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle. Pericarditis is inflammation of the lining surrounding the heart muscle. Symptoms of these conditions can include pain in the chest and rapid or irregular heartbeat. There are many different causes for myocarditis and pericarditis including COVID-19 infection.
In 2021, the Canadian Journal of Cardiology published Myocarditis and Pericarditis After COVID-19 mRNA Vaccination: Practical Considerations for Care Providers