17-year-old diagnosed with heart condition after receiving COVID vaccine, father tells 'Fox & Friends'

Dr. Saphier says CDC must look closer at universal recommendation of vaccines for younger people

A 17-year-old student who received the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in order to attend school and play soccer was diagnosed with heart issues soon after the shot, his father explained Tuesday on "Fox & Friends."

"A week later, he came home and started telling me that his heart was hurting every time he had a heartbeat," Fabio Berlingieri told "Fox & Friends."

After assuming the issue came from a pulled muscle from playing sports, Berlingieri took his son to the walk-in clinic to get his heart checked out. He said the clinicians did an EKG to check for different heart conditions. He also took his son to a cardiologist to get a sonogram. 

Berlingieri said he received "bad news" the next day when the results came back and he was advised to take his son to the emergency room immediately on the day of his prom. 

"His troponin levels were off the charts," he explained, adding that his son was in the hospital receiving care for a couple of days.

Now that Berlinigieri’s son has a heart condition, he missed his prom and can't do "all the things he loves to do," including playing soccer in the fall and surfing. The last cardiologist check-in showed that his "EKG was a little off."

"What happened, I guess, is the oxygen doesn't get in those areas. So it has to heal. 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," Berlingieri said.


Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is currently authorized for use in individuals aged 12 and older.

Younger children could become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine this fall, according to a top executive at Pfizer who noted plans to request emergency approval for use of its vaccine in kids aged 5 to 11 by September or October.


Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier said the way the New York Times and the Centers for Disease Control are presenting the data regarding the adverse effects of vaccines in adolescents is "irresponsible."

"They cherry-pick the way that they present the data. 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.

Saphier said more weight should be given to potential adverse effects, like myocarditis and other heart inflammation issues when deciding who should be vaccinated.

"Not every single adolescent is going to get infected with the virus especially when you are in areas of this country where case transmission is exceedingly low," she said, as host Brian Kilmeade pointed out that the 17-year-old already had coronavirus and recovered, but was still required to be vaccinated to play soccer.

"We have just as much data showing natural immunity having a strong protective effect as we do the vaccines, but they continue to stop and not acknowledge it," said Saphier. 

"Fabio, for himself and his family likely still had positive antibodies. He likely didn't need the vaccine right now. And here he is not even able to play soccer because he got the vaccine for soccer. 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."

Fox News' Kayla Rivas contributed to this report.