CDC Says Younger Males Should Consider Waiting Longer Between Doses of Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines: Report

by Clayton Edwards

For most people, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends waiting about a month between COVID shots. For the Moderna shot, they recommend waiting four weeks. Those who take the Pfizer shot can take the second in three weeks. However, they’ve recently advised young males to wait eight weeks between doses of either brand of vaccine. Recent research shows that this extended wait may help lessen the already slim chance of young males contracting myocarditis after getting a COVID vaccine.

At a Glance

  • The CDC urges males between the ages of 12 and 39 to wait eight weeks between their first and second COVID vaccination.
  • Canadian health officials say that the risk of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) is lower for young men when they wait eight weeks between shots.
  • Risk of myocarditis after taking COVID vaccines is low.

Curbing the Risk of Myocarditis After COVID Vaccines

According to the CDC website, some younger males may experience symptoms of myocarditis after taking the COVID vaccine. Those who do experience this side effect usually do so after their second dose. As a result, those who take the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines experience myocarditis more often than those who take the Johnson & Johnson formulation.  However, the CDC notes that the risk is low and COVID infection presents a higher level of risk than vaccination, no matter which brand is used.

According to CNBC, Canadian health officials found that the risk of myocarditis after taking a COVID vaccine was lower in males between the ages of 18 and 24 if they waited eight weeks between shots. As a result, the CDC is suggesting this wait time for males between the ages of 12 and 39.

What is Myocarditis?

Myocarditis is the inflammation of the myocardium or heart muscle, according to the Mayo Clinic. This inflammation can reduce the heart’s efficiency.

Early, mild symptoms of myocarditis include chest pain, shortness of breath, and rapid or irregular heartbeat.

However, untreated or severe myocarditis can allow clots to form in the heart. At its worst, the condition can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Risk of Myocarditis After COVID Vaccines Is Low

Myocarditis sounds frightening, but young males shouldn’t allow it to scare them away from COVID vaccines. The truth is, the risk is already low. According to a December 2021 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, an average of 0.48 people in every 100,000 vaccinations experiences the condition overall. It is, however, a little riskier for younger people. 1.2 people between the ages of 18 and 29 will experience myocarditis for every 100,000 vaccinations.

This low-risk factor was calculated long before the CDC introduced this new guidance. So, by waiting a few extra weeks between shots, young males can make their already-slim chances of contracting myocarditis even lower.