U.S. CDC has not seen link between heart inflammation and COVID-19 vaccines

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky listens during the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on the Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 15, 2021. Susan Walsh/Pool via REUTERS

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NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not found a link between heart inflammation and COVID-19 vaccines, the agency’s Director Rochelle Walensky said on Tuesday.

"We have not seen a signal and we've actually looked intentionally for the signal in the over 200 million doses we've given," Walensky said in a press briefing.

She said the CDC is in touch with the U.S. Department of Defense over its investigation of 14 cases of heart inflammation or myocarditis among people who were vaccinated through the military's health services.

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"It is a different demographic than we normally see and we will be working with DOD to understand what is happening in those 14 cases," Walensky said.

The U.S. vaccination program targeted older Americans first, and the concerns over myocarditis are in younger vaccinated people. At least 17.9 million people in the United States under the age of 30 have received one COVID-19 shot, according to CDC data.

Israel's Health Ministry said on Sunday it was examining a small number of cases of heart inflammation in people who had received Pfizer's (PFE.N) COVID-19 vaccine, though it had not yet drawn any conclusions. Most of the cases in Israel were reported among people up to age 30. read more

Pfizer has said it has not observed a higher rate of the condition than would normally be expected in the general population.

COVID-19 itself has been linked to cases of myocarditis in some patients.

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Reporting by Michael Erman

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