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VERIFY | No, teens are not dying from adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine

Large studies have reported a rare rate of incidence of myocarditis following vaccination that is more prevalent in young males than in other groups.

ATLANTA — More than five million Georgians are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Department of Public Health data. Now Pfizer wants the OK to use this vaccine for kids aged 5-11.

11Alive has received a number of comments and messages expressing concern and confusion about teens - who have already been made eligible for the vaccines dying due to adverse reactions. 

So Natisha Lance is looking into the facts of the matter.

RELATED: VERIFY: Are children dying from COVID at a lesser rate than the flu?

THE QUESTION

Are teenagers dying from adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine?

THE SOURCES

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • New England Journal of Medicine
  • Georgia Department of Public Health

THE ANSWER

Large studies have reported a rare rate of incidence of myocarditis following vaccination that is more prevalent in young males than in other groups, but those studies have not reported any resulting deaths.

   

This is false.

WHAT WE FOUND

The CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) received 1,226 reports of myocarditis - an inflammation of the heart muscle - after an individual was given an mRNA vaccine between Dec. 2020-June 2021.

A CDC safety panel found a likely - though highly rare - association between the heart inflammation condition in adolescents and young adults after their second dose of an mRNA COVID vaccine, finding 323 cases fit the criteria for myocarditis. 

The average age of these patients was 19, and 96% of them were hospitalized. At the time the review was completed, 95% of the patients had already been discharged from the hospital, and none still in the hospital had died.

Another recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine showed the risk of heart problems in boys 16-19 was about nine times higher than unvaccinated boys the same age. 

The study, which looked at patients in the largest health care system in Israel, looked at data from 2.5 million people vaccinated people aged 16 or older and found 54 cases that met the criteria for myocarditis. The study reported 10.69 cases per 100,000 persons in males aged 16-29, the highest of any group.

The majority of the cases were mild, though one patient with a history of heart disease died of an unspecified cause after being released from the hospital.

In Georgia, the DPH has not reported any deaths of people aged 12-17 after receiving the vaccine, and one among people aged 18-34.

So we can verify that while some studies have found that teenagers developed the myocarditis condition in highly rare instances, these same studies did not report teenager deaths from myocarditis.