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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

Covid Vaccine for Children After MIS-C Appears Safe

A child rolls up her sleeve as nurse holds vaccine needle to her arm.

Study finds no serious complications in children who received Covid-19 vaccination following recovery from MIS-C.

Photo: PROSTOCK STUDIO/SHUTTERSTOCK

A study of children and adolescents who received a Covid-19 vaccination following multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) found that there were no reports of serious complications, including myocarditis or MIS-C reoccurrence. The NHLBI-funded study demonstrates it is safe to get a vaccine after having MIS-C. The findings were published in JAMA Network Open.

The multicenter observational study, the largest of its kind to examine Covid vaccination in this group, helps resolve a lingering question about whether the Covid vaccine can increase the risk of health problems in young people who have had MIS-C, a rare and potentially fatal immunological reaction that can occur following Covid-19 infection. 

To date, more than 9,000 patients have been diagnosed with MIS-C in the U.S., and 74 have died, according to CDC data. Symptoms can range from stomach pain, fever and rash to inflammation of the heart muscle, a serious condition called myocarditis, and organ failure. 

The cross-sectional study included 22 medical centers in North America participating in the NHLBI’s Long-Term Outcomes After the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MUSIC) study. It enrolled 385 patients ages 5 or older with prior MIS-C who were eligible for Covid-19 vaccination. Of this group, 185 (48.1%) received at least one vaccine dose. 

Of those who received a Covid vaccination following MIS-C, about half experienced mild and typical reactions, including arm soreness and fatigue. There were no reports of serious complications, including myocarditis or recurrence of MIS-C, the researchers said.

Lead study researchers, who have routinely treated children with MIS-C throughout the pandemic, said these findings support the CDC’s recommendation that patients with a history of MIS-C can safely receive a Covid vaccine at least 90 days after diagnosis.

“In light of the acute and long-term consequences of Covid-19, it is vital to continue the development, testing and deployment of preventive as well as therapeutic agents in at-risk groups as well as the general population,” said NHLBI Director Dr. Gary Gibbons.

The MUSIC study is part of an NIH collaborative effort called CARING for Children with COVID, which aims to better understand how Covid-19 affects children, who account for roughly 13% of the total cases in the U.S.

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