Autopsies show 61% more COVID vax heart deaths than recorded in South Korean injury registry
Initially classified as generic "sudden cardiac deaths," patients were all under 45 and took mRNA vaccines. Researchers suspect U.S. passive monitoring hides deaths picked up by Korean active monitoring.
Nearly 200 U.S. colleges still require vaccination against COVID-19 as further research documents the disproportionate risk of post-mRNA vaccination heart problems in young males, who face low risk from SARS-CoV-2 itself.
The requirement continue amid research that appears to show adverse events associated with COVID vaccination.
Researchers studying South Korea's national reporting system found that among roughly 44 million residents 12 and older who received at least one vaccine dose through December 2021, males 12-17 and 18-29 had the highest vaccine-related myocarditis rates, at 5.29 and 2.93 per 100,000, respectively.
Severe cases formed a surprisingly high proportion of VRM cases (19.8%), Chonnam National University Medical School faculty and COVID vaccine adverse events investigators for the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency wrote in the European Society of Cardiology's journal.
Among severe cases, nine-in-10 included ICU admission, three-in-eight fulminant myocarditis that is marked by "severe and sudden onset" and high mortality rate, and 22% each death and "extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy."
The study raises the likelihood that authorities worldwide are missing VRM cases by not conducting autopsies on generic "sudden cardiac deaths."
Eight of the 21 VRM deaths were initially classified as generic SCD where "VRM was not suspected as a clinical diagnosis or a cause of death," the researchers found. The vaccine connection was only shown by autopsies required under South Korea's national compensation system for COVID vaccine injuries.
All eight happened within a week of mRNA vaccination in people under 45 – five Pfizer, three Moderna – and VRM was the "only possible cause of death" in them.
A supplementary chart on fulminant myocarditis, which includes ages and hospital outcomes, shows four of those patients who died were also under 45, for a total of 12 deaths under that age.
"Because our data incorporated more than 44 million people, there might be a possibility that more deaths could have occurred than in other studies with smaller populations," the paper states.
"Severe COVID-19 VRM including SCD should be carefully monitored as a potentially fatal complication of COVID-19 vaccination, especially in individuals who are aged under 45 years and receiving mRNA vaccines," it also concludes.
"This is exactly the rare signal me/other cardiologists have been worried about missing," Philadelphia cardiologist Anish Koka wrote in a tweet thread analyzing the paper, which "should raise red flags around the world."
Koka told college essayist Rav Arora, who recently launched a newsletter with Stanford Medical School professor Jay Bhattacharya on the "illusion of consensus" in science, that the compensation system adjudication committee used a narrow definition of myocarditis that likely left out many cases. It rejected about 70% of VRM reports.
According to advocacy group No College Mandates, which monitors COVID vaccine mandates in higher education, nearly 200 colleges out of 1,200 tracked are still requiring some level of COVID vaccination for students: primary series only, primary plus booster, or bivalent. Its review of recently updated policies shows about 50 have confirmed the mandates will continue this fall.
While the University of California System started letting students opt out last month, it's still requiring them to sign a form admitting to disputed "facts" about the "life-threatening consequences" from rejecting a booster and the prevalence of long COVID. It warns they can transmit the virus asymptomatically, but not that "up to date" vaccinated people can do so too.
Last month Arora shared several responses he received from editors at media outlets on the right and left that have published him on other subjects but balked at his evidence-based critiques of COVID vaccine mandates, including the higher risk to young males.
One editor told Arora unvaccinated and forcibly benched NBA star Kyrie Irving "refused to help the public get out of the pandemic and now he’s suffering the consequences," and another claimed vaccine risks were "amplified by right-wing pundits who have no concern for public health."
Arora said a healthy 32-year-old male editor at one of these publications shared that he had experienced several hours of heart-pounding "so hard it felt like it was going to explode" after his second mRNA dose and could "barely walk" the next day, though the editor's symptoms subsided a few days later.
The South Korean researchers noted their findings diverge from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of nearly 200 million Americans published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, possibly because South Korea uses an active monitoring system.
CDC researchers found no VRM deaths in the passive Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System but calculated that myocarditis was overwhelmingly concentrated in males after the second mRNA dose, specifically 12-15 year-olds (71 per million doses) and 16-17 (106) for Pfizer, while ages 18-24 responded similarly to Pfizer and Moderna: 52 and 56 per million doses, respectively.
The problem with VAERS is it "allows for underreporting or overreporting," while the Korean system minimizes these outcomes by legally requiring VRM to be reported to authorities and organizing the "causality assessment committee to review and confirm" VRM cases, the new paper states.
The South Korean study differs from others worldwide in other ways, finding "weak" association with males – only 62% of VRM cases – and "no remarkable difference between the first and second vaccination dose," the researchers said.
Also surprising: "COVID-19 VRM was not uncommon" in 40-60 year-olds, and a third of cases happened at 40 and older. The overall incidence across ages and sexes was 1.08 per million, but significantly higher for males (1.35) than females (0.82). Women over 70 had the lowest incidence (0.16), only slightly higher than the overall incidence for non-mRNA vaccines (0.14).
"The research is impeccable and cannot be disregarded as coming from vaccine skeptics," former New York Times drug industry reporter Alex Berenson wrote in his newsletter. Extrapolating from South Korea's share of mRNA vaccine doses worldwide – about 3% – he estimated that 300 to 500 people under age 45 died of VRM around the world.
The unearthed cases show that "doctors aren’t even properly reporting the best-known complication from the mRNA jabs" even within days of vaccination in "healthy young adults," Berenson wrote in another analysis. "How can we trust them to report other potential serious or fatal side effects?" he asked rhetorically, noting countries that mostly used mRNA vaccines have continuing excess death rates unrelated to COVID itself.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook
- European Society of Cardiology's journal
- "severe and sudden onset" and high mortality rate
- supplementary chart on fulminant myocarditis
- Koka told college essayist Rav Arora
- "illusion of consensus" in science
- monitors COVID vaccine mandates
- letting students opt out last month
- sign a form admitting to disputed "facts"
- Arora shared several responses he received
- unvaccinated and forcibly benched NBA star Kyrie Irving
- Arora said a healthy 32-year-old male editor
- CDC study of nearly 200 million Americans
- Alex Berenson wrote in his newsletter
- Berenson wrote in another analysis