During a White House COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walesnky reported that the agency is now investigating more than 300 cases of inflammation of the heart and surrounding tissue in young teens and adolescents who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, Walensky stressed that the benefits of the vaccine far outweighed the risks and that most of the cases of myocarditis and pericarditis observed by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration were not severe.
The CDC, the FDA and the American Academy of Pediatrics still recommend everyone over the age of 12 get vaccinated.
"These cases are rare, and the vast majority have resolved with rest and supportive care," Walensky said Thursday.
While it's still unclear whether the vaccines cause the inflammation, the CDC has said that evidence is growing that the vaccine could be related to the condition.
During Thursday's briefing, Walensky noted that 20 million adolescents and young adults had been vaccinated in the U.S. The 300 cases of heart inflammation represent just 0.00015% of that 20 million.
Walensky also said Thursday that the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) would soon meet to discuss the cases.
According to NBC News, that meeting was scheduled to take place Friday, but it was rescheduled to next week after President Joe Biden signed a bill into law that made Juneteenth a federal holiday. Because the new holiday falls on a Saturday this year, it will be observed on Friday.
The ACIP's meeting next week will be open to the public to view.
"(The meeting is) another demonstration of our ongoing efforts to keep safety integral to everything we do," Walensky said.
The CDC first reported it was investigating a potential link between the vaccines and heart inflammation earlier this month. Initially, the CDC said it had found that seven teenage boys developed the condition after receiving the shot, though none of the cases were considered severe.