Covid vaccines were approved in Australia five months before health authorities knew about the heightened risk of myocarditis, it has been reported.
The revelation raises new questions over the appropriateness of Australia’s vaccine mandates considering the risks associated with the vaccines.
An updated document published by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) reveals the health body was unaware of the side effect until May 2021.
But the vaccine was provisionally approved for use on January 25, 2021 – almost five months prior.
In 2021, Covid-19 vaccinations were mandatory to enter public spaces.
“A small increased risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis has been observed in people following vaccination with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) compared with unvaccinated people,” ATAGI document read.
“Pericarditis and myocarditis after Covid-19 vaccines have been mostly reported in males under 40 years of age, and mostly after the second dose,” it read.
“However, these conditions do occur in both females and males, at any age, and after any dose, including a third or fourth dose.”
News.com.au reported that ATAGI now said it was “uncertain” whether the risk of myocarditis following Covid-19 infection remained higher than the risk following vaccination in the male 16-40 age group.
But ATAGI maintained that the threat of the virus continued to outweigh any risk from mRNA vaccines in the younger population.
A Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis was about one in 6700 in 12 to 15-year-old boys following a second vaccine dose.
ATAGI still encourages booster shots for young people despite data indicating heart issues become more common after each successive jab.
According to the CDC, the risk of myocarditis was about one-in-8000 after the second dose and one-in-6000 after the first booster for 16 and 17-year-olds.
“ATAGI advise that myocarditis and pericarditis are rare adverse events associated with mRNA Covid-19 vaccines which occur more commonly among younger people aged 16-40,” a group statement said.
“Booster doses of Covid-19 vaccine are important to maintain protection and are recommended for males aged 16-40.”
It was reported that in 2021, 22 (1.9 per cent) of Australia’s 1122 Covid deaths came from the 0-39 age group. The median age at death was 79.1.
Official statistics revealed were there were 15 deaths “for which the information provided to the ABS indicated that Covid-19 vaccination was the underlying cause of death” in 2021.