Reports of athletes having cardiac arrests and dying are not related to COVID-19 vaccines. In some cases, the athletes were not even vaccinated.
Goodsciencing, a website spreading COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, has compiled a list of athletes who it alleges suffered from severe health conditions and died after the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. The website also notes that the list compiled by them was the list of athletes that were vaccinated against COVID-19. This is not true in all cases. Several of these athletes were not vaccinated against COVID-19. Some of them have died due to other medical conditions unrelated to COVID-19 or the COVID-19 vaccines. None of the reports covering the health issues or reports of the athletes' death have confirmed the cause of death to be from the adverse reactions of COVID-19 vaccines. Some of the information compiled in this list has been debunked as they were baseless and peddled by accounts spreading anti-vaxx narratives. For instance, one of the athletes mentioned in the list is Danish footballer Christien Eriksen who plays for the Italian club Inter Milan along with the Danish national team. The Goodsciencing website claims that Eriksen collapsed on a soccer field twelve days after getting a Pfizer shot. A tweet claimed that Inter Milan chief medic who spoke to Radio Sportiva from Italy confirmed that Eriksen was vaccinated. However, the club's president has denied the reports and confirmed that Eriksen was not vaccinated during his UEFA EURO cardiac arrest incident. Radio Sportiva has also confirmed that they did not quote anyone from Inter Milan over Eriksen's medical condition. Similarly, bodybuilder Andy Haman, who was also mentioned in the article passed away in March 2021 due to pulmonary embolism while undergoing a routine elbow surgery. While the Goodsciencing website confirms that he died of pulmonary embolism, Haman's surgery is not mentioned before his death. The incident is misrepresented to show that COVID-19 vaccines led to his death. Haziq Kamaruddin, a Malaysian Archer, collapsed and died due to coronary artery disease. While it is true that Kamaruddin received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Health Ministry's statement confirmed that the preliminary autopsy did not provide evidence that the heart condition was caused by the vaccine. Social media users started speculating his cause of death was related to the vaccines even before the autopsy was done. Furthermore, Goodsciencing does not correctly describe the intent behind the website or reveal the details of the people contributing to the website. The 'About' page says, "You might be an artist who would like to introduce yourself and your work here, or maybe you’re a business with a mission to describe." With no concrete medical evidence linking the health conditions and deaths of the athletes to the COVID-19 vaccines, there is no reason to blame the vaccines. With some athletes having not been vaccinated against COVID-19, the information provided by Goodsciencing is not accurate and backed by facts. CDC notes that cases of myocarditis and pericarditis are very rare after the COVID-19 vaccination. CDC further noted that reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.