Heart Inflammation Manifested Unusually in 2 Boys Who Died Shortly After Getting Pfizer Vaccine: Study

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
February 17, 2022 Updated: February 22, 2022

The autopsies of two teenage boys who died shortly after getting Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine indicate that heart inflammation was the primary cause of death, medical examiners found.

Both boys were found dead in their beds, one three days after receiving the second dose of Pfizer’s vaccine and the other four days after receipt of the second dose. Both were pronounced dead without attempts at resuscitation.

Neither boy was identified, and the dates of death weren’t made clear. Researchers dubbed the one who died earlier Boy A and the other Boy B.

Boy A complained of a headache and stomach problems after vaccination but said his symptoms were improving before he died. He had no history of prior medical problems. Boy B didn’t complain of symptoms and had no prior health issues. Neither showed obvious cardiac symptoms. Neither had contracted COVID-19, and neither had the disease when they were tested postmortem. Expanded forensic toxicological testing was also negative for medications and drugs of abuse.

Typical myocarditis has certain hallmarks, including the death of muscle cells, called myocytes. But in the boys, the medical examiners found abnormal markers, including hypereosinophilic myocytes, or heart muscle cells overloaded with white blood cells.

“This injury pattern is instead similar to what is seen in the myocardium of patients who are clinically diagnosed with Takotsubo, toxic, or ‘stress’ cardiomyopathy, which is a temporary myocardial injury that can develop in patients with extreme physical, chemical, or sometimes emotional stressors,” the medical examiners wrote in a study published recently by Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.

Researchers suspect that the cardiac changes in the boys resulted from adrenaline affecting heart cells called cardiomyocytes, with “an overly exuberant immune response” and heart inflammation similar to the development of problems that occurs in some patients who have COVID-19 or multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

While unsure of exactly what took place, the medical examiners said all signs point to myocardial injury being the “primary factor” in the deaths and encouraged health care professionals to be aware that post-vaccine heart problems are different from typical myocarditis.

Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist in Texas who wasn’t involved in the study, said the findings “sadly confirm fatal COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis.”

“The histopathology demonstrates a unique form of myocarditis that may be specific to the mRNA vaccines, suggesting the Spike protein damages pericytes that surround capillaries and cardiomyocytes,” he told The Epoch Times in an email.

“With >200 papers on the topic in the preprint and published literature, and now formal evaluation and management guidelines issued in the United Kingdom, COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis has become an expected new disease category for young cardiac patients presenting to emergency departments and medical offices, if they are fortunate enough to have a nonfatal presentation.”

Dr. James Gill, Connecticut’s chief medical examiner, who led the study, didn’t respond to requests for comment. Pfizer didn’t return an inquiry.

Myocarditis has occurred in a higher-than-expected number of young males, and some young females, after receipt of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, according to U.S. health officials. The problem is more pronounced following the second dose of either vaccine, both of which are recommended in two-dose primary series.

Analysts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who were checking Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reports submitted through mid-January regarding deaths with myocarditis after a primary series of the Pfizer or Moderna shots, ruled out myocarditis from five of the 13 cases due to inadequate information, such as a lack of autopsy, Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, part of CDC’s vaccine safety team, told the agency’s vaccine advisory panel during a recent meeting.

In five of the cases, the CDC identified “potential infectious causes,” meaning they won’t be ruled post-vaccination myocarditis deaths, Shimabukuro said. The two others are still under investigation, as they have been for months.

The reports were for people under 30 years old.

A search on VAERS on Feb. 17 found 57 reports of deaths with myocarditis or pericarditis, a related condition, following Pfizer or Moderna vaccination.

A CDC spokesman told The Epoch Times in a recent email, “We don’t have any confirmed deaths from myocarditis suffered post-vaccination at this time.”

In another recent study, researchers analyzed MRIs done on 92 adult patients with myocarditis and found a similar injury pattern among those who suffered the condition following vaccination and those who suffered it following COVID-19 infection.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with information from VAERS.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.