While rare, some people may experience chest pain due to myocarditis or pericarditis following a COVID-19 vaccination.
Like any vaccine, COVID-19 vaccines may cause side effects as they
These are mostly mild to moderate and do not last longer than a few days, and the chance of getting any side effects may
Typical symptoms include pain at the injection site, mild fever, and headaches. Rarely, some may develop chest pain from a heart-related side effect caused by the vaccine.
This article explores chest pain as a rare side effect of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and the treatments available. It also discusses other vaccine effects, when to consult a doctor, and the risks and benefits of vaccinations.
All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date. Visit our coronavirus hub for the most recent information on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle. Meanwhile, pericarditis is the inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.
Both conditions occur when the body’s immune system
Recent studies show a
Types of vaccines
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech) poses a
The United Kingdom Government also acknowledged it as a rare side effect of their Novavax vaccine.
This side effect pattern has not been linked to the Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine, an adenovector vaccine.
When it occurs
The rare cases of myocarditis or pericarditis most often occur within 7 days after receiving a second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. It is rare after the first shot and even rarer after booster shots.
Who is affected
- adolescents and young adults
- people 16 and older
Fortunately, most vaccine-related myocarditis and pericarditis are
People with significant fluid buildup in the space around the heart (pericardial effusion)
Doctors may also prescribe standard heart failure treatment to individuals showing signs and symptoms of heart failure with myocardial involvement. These include:
Activity restrictions for
- pain, redness, or swelling on the arm (or leg) where the person got their shot
A person who presents symptoms of pericarditis or myocarditis, especially if they occur
These are the
- chest pain
- shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- respiratory distress
If a person has any concerns about their symptoms or requires treatment, they must consult a doctor.
The COVID-19 vaccine is a
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older gets vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
The benefits of protecting against COVID-19 and related long-term complications, even death,
Aside from COVID-19 vaccines, some other vaccines may cause pericarditis and myocarditis. The
Other vaccinations that may cause myocarditis and pericarditis include:
Myocarditis is a
Chest pain is a rare side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine secondary to myocarditis or pericarditis. Aside from being relatively rare, the majority of those affected recovered well.
It is still essential to get COVID-19 vaccinations as doctors suggest the benefits of prevention against COVID-19 and its associated complications far outweigh the rare side effects a person may experience after the vaccine.