Swiss sprinter and Olympic athlete Sarah Atcho has been diagnosed with pericarditis shortly after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot.

Atcho is the second Swiss Olympic athlete this month to have been diagnosed with a heart condition after COVID-19 vaccination. On January 6th, Swiss marathon record holder and Olympic athlete Fabienne Schlumpf announced that she had been diagnosed with myocarditis after her booster shot.

Sarah Atcho, 26, has developed pericarditis after her COVID booster vaccination

The sprinter made the news public on Monday, writing in a post on Facebook:


Obviously as you know, I’m trying to be as transparent as I can and now is more important than ever. On December 22 I got my booster vaccination because I didn’t want to struggle with this when the season started. I was told that it was safer to get Pfizer (even though I had Moderna the first time) to avoid cardiac side effects.

On December 27 I felt a tightness in the chest and started feeling dizzy while walking up the stairs. This happened a few more times until I decided to check with a cardiologist who diagnosed me with pericarditis (inflammation of the thin membrane surrounding the heart).

I am now not allowed to get my heart rate up for a few weeks to allow my heart to rest and heal from the inflammation. I am still doing everything I can with my coach to keep my muscles moving and he’s doing a GREAT job, thank you @patsaile !!

I have to admit that I am upset at the situation because we don’t talk enough about the side effects. I feel helpless since this is completely out of my control…

I am glad the vaccine helped avoid many deaths and reduce the pressure on the hospitals and hospital staff however I am frustrated that myself as well as other young and healthy people are suffering from these heavy side effects.

I hope you understand why it is important for me to share, I’ll keep you guys updated on the process.

Let me know if you’re experiencing the same, let’s help each other!

Atcho (left) holds the Swiss national record on the 4 × 100 meters relay along with sprinters Kambundji, Del Ponte, and Kora

Atcho, one of the fastest sprinters in Switzerland, competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio as well as in the 2017 World Championships in London.

The 26-year-old sprinter and her 4 x 100 teammates were voted Team of the Year at the 2019 Swiss Sports Awards. The quartet ran a stunning 42.53 at the IAAF Diamond League in 2017, shattering the Swiss national record.


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