The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is holding an emergency meeting on June 18 due to an increased number of cases of heart inflammation following COVID-19 vaccinations.

According to the CDC, there have been 226 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis in people younger than 30, especially young men.

UMass Medical School Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, Dr. John Dickey, says at UMass Memorial Health theyv'e had seven patients hospitalized with mild symptoms, but all were released and seem to be making full recoveries.

Dr. Dickey says any report of serious side effects from the vaccine is concerning, ​but the benefit of vaccination still outweighs any potential risk from COVID.

"We don't even really know what the long term consequences of getting the COVID-19 disease are," Dr. Dickey said..

"We certainly see patients here who have had mild disease and are left with chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, sometimes permanent loss of taste and smell," Dr. Dickey said. "Which in and of themselves may not seem as serious as the consequence of dying, but those are potentially life long adjustments to these patients quality of life that we don't really know what is going to come down in the long term."

Dr. Dickey says most patients with myocarditis end up recovering fully. But says, the first three to six months following recovery is a critical period to monitor the patient.

At the June 18 meeting, the CDC will further look at the evidence and assess the risk of myocarditis following vaccination.