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Original Articles By Dr. Lavin Featuring Expert Advice & Information about Pediatric Health Issues that you Care the Most About

COVID-19 Update June 25, 2021: A Heartfelt Sigh of Relief – The CDC Releases Its Report on Heart Inflammation in Adolescents and COVID Vaccination – It Is Good News

By Dr. Arthur Lavin

Glossary

  • Virus– a type of germ that consists solely of a bit of genetic material (DNA or RNA) wrapped in a protein coat.  The coat gets the genes into the target cell where the genes force the cell to make zillions of new viruses, and on it goes.
  • Variant- also known as a mutation, a variant strain of a virus is the same species of virus but with a change in the genetic code.  The change is minor if it has no impact on contagious the new variant is, or how deadly it is, or if it allows the virus to neutralize our vaccines.
  • Coronavirus– a species name of a number of different viruses.  Called corona because its protein coat is studded with spike shapes that form a crown, halo, or corona of spikes
  • SARS-CoV-2– the specific name of the new coronavirus
  • COVID-19-the name of the illness that the new coronavirus is causing
  • Endemic– an illness always present in a region.  One could say strep throat is endemic in the US
  • Epidemic– a sudden burst of an illness that comes and goes over a limited time
  • Pandemic– an epidemic that bursts across the world not just one region
  • Spreadability– how contagious is the disease, how many people will end up infected
  • Symptoms- the experience of being ill, for example- fever, cough, headaches, loss of smell etc.
    • Asymptomatic– literally means “without symptoms”.  For COVID-19 it refers a person infected with the virus but has no and will have not symptoms
    • Presymptomatic– This is a person who was infected with SARS-CoV-2, and will feel sick, but hasn’t yet
  • Severity– what harm does the disease cause, in terms of  how sick you get and how many it will kill
  • Mask- a mask is a loose-fitting cloth or textile that covers the mouth and nose loosely.  A surgical mask is a mask used in surgery
  • Respirator-  for the purposes of the COVID-19 pandemic and other respiratory illnesses, a respirator is a mask that fits very snugly or tightly to the user’s face.  An N95 mask is a respirator.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)- PPE are any item that covers any part of the body with the design and intent of keeping viruses in the environment from infecting the wearer of the PPE. PPE’s include all masks (which includes respirators), face shields, eye shields, gloves, gowns.
  • Ventilator- a ventilator is a machine that can force a person unable to breathe to inhale and exhale and control both effectively.  They are sometimes called respirators, but during this pandemic the word respirator is now reserved for reference to a tightly fit mask.
  • Live Virus Swab– this is the swab which attempts to swipe live virus from one’s nose or throat to see if you are currently infected.
  • Antibody Test- (aka serology test) this is the blood test which looks for antibody to the SARS-CoV-2 virus to see if you have been infected in the past.
  • Vaccine Terms
    • Vaccine or Immunization– a dose of a substance that activates your immune system, as if you have the actual infection you are hoping to prevent, leaving you in fact protected from having that infection.
    • Efficacy– the percentage of people immunized with a particular vaccine who will not get infected if exposed to the target infection.  For example, a COVID-19 vaccine will be said to be 95% effective if 95% of people immunized with that particular COVID-19 vaccine will not get COVID-19 if exposed to COVID-19
    • mRNA– DNA works by dictating exactly which proteins your cell will make.  The message on how to construct each protein is delivered to the cell machinery that makes proteins by a piece of genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA
    • mRNA vaccine– an mRNA vaccine places a small bit of mRNA code that makes your cells make a protein that is the protein from a virus that alerts your immune system and activates it to make protections against you being infected
    • Viral vector vaccine– a viral vector vaccine takes a harmless virus that is known to infect people reliably and places that weakened virus in a person where that virus will in fact infect the person.  The virus is not only weakened, but also attached to a set of genes  that makes your cells make a protein that is the protein from a virus that alerts your immune system and activates it to make protections against you being infected.

On June 23, 2021, the CDC published its findings after taking a very, very close look at reports that people getting COVID vaccine had developed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart.

As readers of Real Answers know, reports of adolescents and young adults, mainly males, experiencing some sort of inflammation of the heart raised concerns.  Did the COVID vaccine put our children at risk?

The preliminary information made it clear that the COVID vaccine DOES NOT put our children at risk.

But we waited to hear the official findings of a formal CDC review.

That review is now here:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/myocarditis.html

What Did the Detailed Review Show?

  1. That the heart inflammation following COVID vaccine was incredibly rare, and even more importantly, incredibly mild.
  2. In fact, the CDC reports that: “Most patients who received care responded well to treatment and rest and quickly felt better.”
  3. The chance of harm coming to your child or adolescent from getting infected with COVID is vastly greater than from the vaccine.
  4. Put more simply, you are protecting your child by giving them the COVID vaccine.

No doubt even hearing the words heart inflammation, or myocarditis, is disturbing.  But inflammation comes in all levels of severity, and mild inflammation is common and harmless.  The red dot of a mosquito bite is an area of inflammation, but so mild it really does no harm.

So the question when I heard about myocarditis was always, how common is it, how mild is it?

If it is very mild and very rare, then I am not so concerned.

The CDC report establishes that at this time the facts establish that this side effect is indeed very, very rare, and very, very mild.

This is important, and excellent, news!

Bottom Lines:

  1. Get Vaccinated
  2. Get Vaccinated Today
  3. Get Vaccinated Now

The simple truth is that every person 12 and older who is not vaccinated is risking their lives right now, get vaccinated, save your life, save the lives of those you care about.

To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin

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