Researchers consider whether vaccine spike proteins prompt body’s immune system to attack heartAlso look into whether vaccine being injected into veins rather than muscle
Scientists are investigating what exactly in the mRNA Covid vaccines is causing heart issues like myocarditis and pericarditis.
Both heart-related complications have been cropping up in vaccinated people and coronavirus patients, with myocarditis indicating inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis referring to swelling or irritation of the sac surrounding the heart.
According to the FDA, Pfizer and Moderna jab recipients are most at-risk of heart complications within seven days of their second jab.
Back in June, the CDC warned they’d already received over 1,200 reports of heart inflammation cases in males aged 16 to 24 following their second dose of Pfizer/Moderna, according to VAERS reports.
Now, as the FDA and CDC have authorized the vaccine for children and are poised to rollout a vaccine booster program, experts are taking a closer look at the link between the vaccines and the supposedly rare heart issues.
According to Baylor College of Medicine professor Biykem Bozkurt, spike proteins in the jab may be prompting an immune response that mistakes heart proteins for enemy cells.
More from the Wall Street Journal:
The spike protein helps the virus gain entry into human cells to replicate. The mRNA vaccines are designed to cause the body to make a certain version of the spike protein, which then sets off an immune response.
The immune response includes neutralizing antibodies that target the spike protein and thereby block the virus’s ability to get inside cells and replicate. The immune response can protect a person against Covid-19 or lessen its severity if someone is exposed to the virus.
Yet there may be similarities between the spike protein and proteins found in the heart muscle, prompting the body’s immune defenses to mobilize against the heart, according to Biykem Bozkurt, a professor of medicine specializing in cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Dr. Bozkurt says, “The antibodies against the spike protein may have the unintended effect of acting against heart proteins,” however, the doctor admits the “molecular mimicry” theory doesn’t explain why the issue isn’t more widely prevalent.
Dr. Bozkurt co-authored an American Heart Association study looking in to “Myocarditis With COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines” back in July.
Another doctor, Mayo Clinic cardiovascular surgeon Jay Schneider, theorized the mRNA spike proteins could be “taken up by heart cells” and then begin producing “the spike protein of the coronavirus, which could draw an antibody response against them.”
“[Dr. Schneider] said he has conducted lab tests and found that heart cells have taken up the Moderna vaccine and then expressed the spike protein,” reports the WSJ.
Still, other researchers are questioning whether improper injections could be behind the rise in heart issues.
The vaccines should be administered in a shoulder muscle, however, an improper injection into a vein could lead to vaccine chemicals circulating through the heart through blood vessels.
The speculation was bolstered after researchers in Hong Kong discovered mice given intravenous injections of the mRNA vaccines developed both heart conditions.
Research also points to the possibility the hormone testosterone may be prompting higher immune responses and could be responsible for the condition affecting younger males.
Speaking to allegations Moderna’s vaccine is causing more heart cases, Moderna Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel pointed to differences in the dose levels, adding that Moderna’s jab “contains more mRNA per dose than Pfizer’s,” the WSJ reports.