A teenager who was inoculated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine as part of a school requirement to play sports has been sidelined after he developed a heart condition soon after receiving the dose, according to his heartbroken father who appeared Tuesday on Fox and Friends to support his son.
Fabio Berlingieri’s 17 year-old son got the Pfizer jab – which is currently authorized for use in individuals aged 12 and older – in order to qualify to play soccer at his high school, but soon afterward he came home from practice complaining of chest pains.
“A week later, he came home and started telling me that his heart was hurting every time he had a heartbeat,” Berlingieri said.
It was initially believed to be a pulled muscle, which is a common issue for athletes; however, the problem persisted, so Berlingieri said he took his son to have his heart examined at a local walk-in medical clinic. After an electrocardiogram (EKG) was performed to check for different problems, his son also visited a cardiologist, where he received a sonogram.
The next day the results of the testing came in, and at that point Berlingieri was told the bad news, prompting him to rush his son to the emergency room of their local hospital on the same day he was due to go to his high school prom; he remained under their care for several days.
“His troponin levels were off the charts,” Berlingieri said, referring to a group of proteins found in skeletal and heart (cardiac) muscle fibers that regulate muscular contraction; when heart muscles become damaged, troponin is sent into the bloodstream. His EKG was also “a little off,” according to his cardiologist.
Due to his heart condition, Berlinigieri said that his son was forced to miss his prom and can no longer engage in all the physical activities that he loves, such as playing soccer and surfing.
“What happened, I guess, is the oxygen doesn’t get in those areas. So it has to heal,” Berlinigieri said. “So he has to be very careful that he doesn’t do anything strenuous so his heart rate doesn’t increase and [put him in] danger of a heart attack.”
Children younger than 12 may become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines this fall, but Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are being “irresponsible” and “cherry-picking” how the present their data, and that they should re-think their push to start vaccinating kids between the ages of 5 and 11.
“It’s an all or none approach. They say either adolescents are fully vaccinated or every single one of them is going to get COVID-19. That’s the way they are balancing it right now,” Saphier said. “It’s irresponsible. It doesn’t make sense. And the FDA needs to look a little bit closer at these vaccines before they continue having universal recommendations.”