World Health Organization (WHO) is studying the sporadic cases of myocarditis and pericarditis that have occurred after vaccination with doses of Pfizer against COVID-19.

“Cases have come from the United States and Israel so far. We are continuing to investigate whether it is related to the vaccine or is part of the normal distribution ”, the deputy director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Access to Medicines and Health Products, Mariângela Simão, has advanced at a press conference this Monday.

In this regard, the Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, Mike Ryan, has reassured the population: “Although they are notable and need a follow-up, just to reassure people, that these have been self-limited mild cases.”

The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS), dependent on the Ministry of Health, has indicated that currently “it cannot be established that there is a causal relationship between the appearance of myocarditis or pericarditis and vaccination” against COVID-19.

The European Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) initiated this evaluation after learning about a series of cases reported in Israel. Most of these cases were not serious, resolved within a few days and mostly affected young men (under 30 years of age), symptoms beginning a few days after the vaccine was administered, almost all after receiving the second dose of the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine.

These pathologies are usually present in the general population, they are frequently related to previous infections or immune diseases. Its frequency of appearance in the European population has been estimated at 1 to 10 cases per year per 100,000 inhabitants. The incidence of myocarditis and pericarditis in Spain, estimated through data from the BIFAP Program, is 11 cases per year per 100,000 inhabitants.

The symptoms of myocarditis / pericarditis are variable, frequently including shortness of breath, palpitations that may be accompanied by an irregular heart rhythm, and chest pain. These conditions usually improve on their own or with proper treatment.

At this time, Health has explained that “the available data do not allow to conclude that there is a causal relationship with the administration of vaccines.” “Myocarditis and pericarditis are pathologies that occur with some frequency in the population regardless of vaccination,” they have justified.

In any case, the PRAC continues to evaluate all the available information and has requested additional information from the marketing authorization holders. Meanwhile, they recommend that citizens “go to the doctor if, in the days following receiving the vaccine, shortness of breath, palpitations that may be accompanied by irregular heartbeat and chest pain appear.”

THE LARGEST PERIOD OF DESCENT WORLDWIDE IN THE WHOLE PANDEMIC

On the other hand, the director general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has celebrated that, worldwide, the number of new cases of COVID-19 notified to the WHO “has decreased for 7 consecutive weeks, which constitutes the most long of weekly declines during the pandemic so far ”.

However, he has warned that, although weekly cases are the lowest since February, deaths “are not decreasing so rapidly.” “The number of deaths reported last week was similar to that of the previous week,” he detailed.

In any case, he pointed out that the global decline “hides a worrying increase in cases and deaths in many countries.” “The strong increase in Africa is especially worrying, because it is the region with the least access to vaccines, diagnostics and oxygen,” he said.

In addition, Tedros has welcomed the announcement that the G7 countries will donate 870 million doses of vaccines, mainly through the COVAX mechanism. “This is a great help, but we need more, and we need it faster. More than 10,000 people die every day. During this press conference alone, more than 420 people will die. These communities need vaccines, and they need them now, not next year ”, he defended.

Thus, he has argued that “there are enough doses of vaccines around the world to reduce transmission and save many lives, if they are used in the right places, for the right people.” “We must give priority to health workers and people at higher risk over those with lower risk,” he insisted.

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