CDC looking into reports of heart inflammation

U.S. health officials are investigating what appears to be higher than expected reports of heart inflammation in male teens and young adults after they get a second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

It’s not clear if the heart inflammation is caused by the shots and the reports still are rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It urges everyone 12 and older to get vaccinated.

As of May 31, the agency had 275 preliminary reports of such inflammation in 16- to 24-year-olds, the CDC’s Dr. Tom Shimabukuro told a government vaccine meeting on Thursday. That’s out of more than 12 million second-dose injections of the vaccines.

The cases seem to occur more often in men and in younger people, and most already have fully recovered, he said.

This kind of heart inflammation can be caused by a variety of infections, including a bout of COVID-19, as well as certain medications — and there have been rare reports following other types of vaccinations.

The CDC’s vaccine advisory committee will meet on June 18 to further evaluate the possible risk.

Meanwhile, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has announced the first five winners of $50,000 scholarships in a program designed to encourage students to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The state is offering 25 scholarships for students ages 12 to 17 who have received at least one vaccine dose.

Winners selected in random drawings can use the scholarships at the post-secondary educational institutions of their choice. That includes colleges and technical, occupational and credential programs inside and outside Colorado.

Five winners will be chosen each week through July 9. Colorado also is offering a $1 million lottery program for five adults who get at least one shot.

And in New Hampshire, the state’s nearly 15-month state of emergency will end Friday night, Gov. Chris Sununu said.

Sununu first declared a state of emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 13, 2020. He renewed it every three weeks until two weeks ago, when he indicated he would let it expire June 11 at midnight. The state will operate under a “public health incident” model, he said, but in general, a declared emergency is no longer necessary to manage the pandemic.

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