False and misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines and heart inflammation is being spread widely, including by doctors.
That includes claims that data clearly show myocarditis, or heart inflammation, is more prevalent after COVID-19 infection when compared to COVID-19 vaccination.
“Teen boys have been up to five times as likely to have heart inflammation after having a COVID infection than after getting vaccinated,” Dr. Mandy Cohen, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in a video encouraging nearly all Americans to get one of the new COVID-19 vaccines.
A similar claim was made by Dr. Scott Rivkees, Florida’s former surgeon general, to ABC.
The claims are largely based on a non-peer reviewed study from the CDC from April 2022.
“At this point it does not seem like an intellectually honest attempt to conduct a risk-benefit analysis,” Allison Krug, an epidemiologist, told The Epoch Times. “I’m just dismayed that they don’t seem genuinely interested in repairing the credibility with parents lost over the last two-and-a-half years.”
The CDC did not respond to a request for comment.
Dr. Rivkees, presented with studies that have found people in at least some populations are at a higher risk of myocarditis after vaccination when compared to after a positive test, doubled down on his claim.
“In articles that compare risks of myocarditis from COVID vs. following vaccination … the risk of myocarditis is greater after COVID than after vaccination,” Dr. Rivkees, professor of the practice of health services, policy, and practice at Brown University, told The Epoch Times via email.
In one of the papers, English researchers found a higher risk for men under 40 who were vaccinated with Moderna’s shot.
Nordic researchers also identified a higher risk for men under 40, as well as some females.
German researchers found 655 cases related to a COVID-19 vaccine, versus 77 related to COVID-19.
The CDC researchers found a higher rate of cardiac complications after a positive COVID-19 test than after COVID-19 vaccination in 40 U.S. health care systems. They did not include all COVID-19 infections.
Dr. Rivkees later sent meta-analyses that confirm the COVID-19 vaccines increase the risk of myocarditis, with no tabulations for the risk following COVID-19.
Dr. Rivkees was quoted by ABC as countering recommendations from Florida to people under 65 to avoid new COVID-19 vaccines, which have virtually no clinical trial data behind them.
Florida’s recommendations contradict the CDC, which advises nearly all Americans receive one of the new shots, but align with or are close to the recommendations from much of the rest of the world, including many European countries and Israel.
Other recent reporting on COVID-19 vaccines also includes false or misleading claims about myocarditis.
“The risk of myocarditis from the virus is far greater than the risk of myocarditis from the vaccine,” Dr. Kawsar Talaat, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told MIT Technology Review. Dr. Talaat did not provide any citations. A request for comment returned an away message.
Solid information on myocarditis and COVID-19 vaccines has been hard to come by during the pandemic, with even the CDC hiding data and making false statements about the condition.
In guidance on its website, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says that COVID-19 poses more of a risk than COVID-19 vaccination.
Officials pointed to the same CDC paper cited by vaccine proponents.