A news article claims that dozens of prominent athletes suffered heart attacks and died after being vaccinated against COVID-19, citing German news articles as proof.
The article ran under the headline, “Deutsche News Agency tracks sudden death of 75 high-profile athletes from heart attacks after COVID Vax.” This was shared on Facebook in a post flagged as part of efforts to combat false news and misinformation in Facebook’s news feed. (Learn more about our partnership with Facebook here.)
The post’s headline and article misrepresent the text of the German article they claim to be based on.
The German article did not report that all players died, did not say all had heart attacks, and not all people on the list got sick because of vaccinations. It included a disclaimer stating that no
Some of the athletes mentioned in the German news article are alive, while others have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. Also, some of the deceased had a history of heart disease or a family history of death from a heart attack.
The COVID-19 vaccine is associated with an inflammation of the heart muscle called myocarditis, and teenage boys and young men may be most affected. However, the risk is very low, most cases mild and recoverable quickly. Doctors say the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risk of myocarditis.
An article in a Facebook post on a site called Mic Drop Politics briefly describes the 75 fatalities, then gives a partial list of those included in the German news story.
Italian footballer Giuseppe Perino, who was first named, died of a heart attack on June 2 during a football match in memory of his brother, who died of a heart attack while cycling in 2018. The headline of the news article about Perino’s death read: “Heart attack kills Giuseppe Perino like the Rocco brothers.”
The second person on the list, Danish footballer Christian Eriksen, is alive. Eriksen collapsed during a football match after his June 12 cardiac arrest. Misinformation quickly spread that Eriksen had the COVID-19 vaccine weeks before he collapsed, but his pro team director debunked the rumors. Politifact and other media reported that Eriksen had not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Speed skater Keld Nuys is ranked third and is still alive. He experienced inflammation in the sac surrounding his heart after being vaccinated against COVID-19 in July, but “recovered well” and returned to training camp two weeks later, The Netherlands News Live reported.
Further down the list is French former footballer Franck Berrier, who died of a heart attack while playing tennis in August after retiring from football due to heart problems. Two years later. The story of his death does not mention any link to COVID-19 vaccination.
Despite headlines identifying athletes as “outstanding,” the list includes a Belgian handball player and a 17-year-old high school student.
According to translations of German news articles, the list includes not only those who died of heart attacks, but also those who survived. But the Mic Drop Politics article doesn’t make that distinction. The German news article also said, “We don’t claim that all of these people got sick and died because of vaccinations.”
The Facebook post included a headline article. “A German news agency tracks the sudden death of 75 prominent athletes from heart attacks after COVID Vax. ”
The article cites a German news article that did not report that information. Not all of the athletes mentioned in the German news article died, and not all of them had heart attacks.
Some of those listed had not been vaccinated against COVID-19, and some of those who died had a history of heart disease or a family history of death from a heart attack. There is also
We assess this claim as false.