Important Patient Information
Frequently Asked Questions
How effective and safe is covid-19 vaccination with the new mRNA vaccines?
Vaccination with mRNA vaccines for adults as well as children and adolescents aged twelve years and older effectively protects even against severe courses of disease caused by the delta variant of the Corona virus. Compared to the high risks of a Corona infection, especially for unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated persons, the risks of vaccination with the approved mRNA vaccines recommended by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the STIKO are negligible.collapse
Should children under twelve also be vaccinated?
In principle, vaccination is recommended for all children. The basis for this, as for all other age groups, is the valid data of the vaccination studies currently underway for this purpose, as well as reliable values for the optimal dosage. The results and the corresponding recommendations of the Ständige Impfkommission (STIKO) are expected in the near future.collapse
Are vaccine side effects possible that don't show up until much later?
No. What is special about the mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccine is that the body manufactures the immune response itself, as it were. Unlike other vaccines, this vaccine does not contain attenuated viruses, but only a blueprint for the spike protein of the coronavirus, the component with which the virus docks on the surface of the body cell. The antibodies are formed against this protein. The mRNA only remains in the body for a maximum of 24 to 48 hours. Only the nano-lipid, the fatty envelope used to encapsulate the sensitive mRNA, could theoretically be reacted against. But according to all the information available, this is also virtually impossible.collapse
Are there certain congenital heart defects for which vaccination should rather not be given?
No, on the contrary. For unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated adults, children, and adolescents, the risks of Covid-19 infection are so high compared with the very rare vaccine side effects of mRNA vaccination, including myocarditis observed primarily in male patients, that protective vaccination is strongly advised. This is especially true for CHD patients with single-chamber hearts (Fontan circulation), severely reduced lung function (cyanosis), severe heart failure, severe pulmonary hypertension, after heart transplantation, and with chronic lung, liver, or kidney disease, immunodeficiency (including Di George syndrome, asplenia, trisomy 21), and with preexisting coronary artery disease.collapse
What is the risk of severe covid-19 in congenital heart disease?
Data collected worldwide so far show that covid-19 disease is most severe when affected individuals also have other diseases, with children generally rarely having severe courses.
The strongest risk factors for a severe course were type 1 diabetes and congenital heart defects. The risk of Covid-19/SARS-CoV-2 infection also depends on the type of congenital heart defect.
As a general rule, vaccination is the best protection. Please be sure to consult with your treating pediatric cardiologist or ACHD specialist, especially if you or your child have not yet been vaccinated or have not been fully vaccinated.
Find more information about this and about the risk groups for congenital heart defects here.collapse
What is the risk for my child with heart disease to develop Long Covid or PIMS?
The German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP) estimates that long covid affects around ten percent of all covid 19 sufferers. Intensive research is currently being conducted into the frequency and specific symptoms of long covid in children with congenital heart defects, as well as the risks for children of developing the disease. No conclusive data on this are yet available.
According to the current state of research, the risk for children to develop severe PIMS/MIS-C is very low. Details of the disease are still unclear. There is also still little reliable data on the incidence. According to the current state of research, the very rare cases can be treated well. In Germany, none of the affected children has died of PIMS. Despite a high cure rate, PIMS/MIS-C is a very serious complication with pronounced vascular inflammation throughout the body. Experts also strongly advise mRNA vaccination due to Long Covid and PIMS/MIS-C.collapse