Myocarditis Data Analysis in VAERS Reveals Significant Association with COVID-19 Vaccines: A Comprehensive Study


Since the inception of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in the United States, the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2, Moderna mRNA-1273, and Janssen Ad26.COV2.S vaccines have been instrumental in combating the pandemic. However, as millions of individuals received these vaccines, concerns regarding adverse events (AEs) have surfaced, particularly regarding myocarditis. This article presents a thorough analysis of myocarditis data from the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in correlation with COVID-19 vaccination, shedding light on potential determinants and implications.


The analysis utilized VAERS data to scrutinize myocarditis reporting trends since the initiation of mass vaccination drives. Comparison was made with historical VAERS data and COVID-19 vaccine administration statistics from the Our World in Data database. The examination encompassed myocarditis reports categorized by sex, age, and dose. Statistical analysis employed Student’s t-test for age-related differences and the chi-square test to assess relationships between categorical variables.


The findings underscored a remarkable surge in myocarditis reports in VAERS following COVID-19 vaccination in 2021. Specifically, the incidence was 223 times higher compared to the average of all vaccines over the past three decades. This equated to a staggering 2500% increase in absolute report numbers within the inaugural year of the vaccination campaign. Demographic insights unveiled that myocarditis predominantly affected youths (50%) and males (69%). Notably, 76% of cases necessitated emergency care and hospitalization, with 3% resulting in fatalities. Analysis further revealed a higher likelihood of myocarditis following the second vaccine dose (p < 0.00001), and individuals under 30 years old were significantly more susceptible compared to older cohorts (p < 0.00001).

Myocarditis and COVID-19 Vaccines: An In-depth Analysis

Myocarditis, an inflammation of the myocardium or heart muscle, has been a point of concern in the context of COVID-19, particularly with the advent of mRNA vaccines. This article delves into the latest findings and research to provide a comprehensive overview of myocarditis in relation to COVID-19 infections and vaccinations, highlighting key studies, statistical data, and expert opinions.

Myocarditis after COVID-19 Vaccination

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent development of mRNA vaccines have led to increased scrutiny regarding vaccine safety, with myocarditis emerging as a notable concern. Initially, health officials observed a rise in myocarditis cases among young males vaccinated with mRNA vaccines, prompting further investigation into this phenomenon.

Recent studies, including research conducted by Yale scientists, have significantly advanced our understanding of myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination. The Yale study, published in Science Immunology on May 5, 2023, explored the immune response associated with post-vaccination myocarditis. The researchers determined that the heart inflammation observed was not induced by antibodies generated by the vaccine but rather by a more generalized immune response involving immune cells and inflammation. This response is characterized by an overproduction of cytokine and cellular reactions, suggesting that the condition might be mitigated by adjusting the interval between vaccine doses​​.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides crucial data, indicating that myocarditis cases post-vaccination are relatively rare. Specifically, among males aged 12 to 17, approximately 22 to 36 per 100,000 experienced myocarditis within 21 days after receiving a second vaccine dose, compared to 50.1 to 64.9 cases per 100,000 following COVID-19 infection​​.

Comparative Risks: Infection vs. Vaccination

A pivotal aspect of the discourse on myocarditis is the comparative risk between COVID-19 infection and vaccination. A study cited by ScienceDaily highlights that the risk of developing myocarditis is seven times higher with a COVID-19 infection than with vaccination. This statistical insight underscores the relative safety of vaccines in comparison to the risks associated with the virus itself​​.

Addressing Vaccine Safety and Efficacy

The dialogue surrounding myocarditis also encompasses broader considerations of vaccine safety and efficacy. The American College of Cardiology has discussed retrospective data indicating very low incidences of myocarditis following vaccination, emphasizing that vaccine-related myocarditis is mostly self-limiting. This perspective is supported by clinical outcomes, which generally show a favorable benefit-risk balance for vaccination across all age and sex groups​​.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has reiterated the importance of COVID-19 vaccination for all recommended age groups, highlighting the overarching benefits of vaccination in mitigating COVID-19 risks, including myocarditis. The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to monitor myocarditis cases, ensuring that healthcare providers and the public are informed about potential risks and the significant protective benefits vaccines offer against COVID-19​​.

The new study……

Epidemiological Analysis of Adverse Events Associated with COVID-19 Vaccines

The introduction of COVID-19 vaccines marked a significant milestone in combating the global pandemic. However, alongside their widespread administration, concerns have emerged regarding adverse events associated with these vaccines. This chapter delves into the epidemiological analysis of adverse events (AEs) reported in association with COVID-19 vaccines, utilizing data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and comparative analyses.

All-Cause Adverse Events

As of 11 August 2023, a staggering 1,566,839 adverse events have been reported to the VAERS system concerning COVID-19 vaccinations. Among these reports, 962,492 were filed domestically. This data stands in stark contrast when compared to AE reports filed for all vaccines combined over the past 30 years. The magnitude of reports related to COVID-19 vaccines appears disproportionately high, as depicted in Figure 1(a).

Figure 1(a) illustrates the surge in AE reports specifically linked to COVID-19 vaccines, surpassing the average annual AE reports for all vaccines combined over the past three decades, which stands at 23,356. Notably, this surge in reports is not solely attributed to the increased administration of vaccines but suggests a genuine escalation in adverse events associated with COVID-19 vaccinations.

The year 2021 marked a pivotal point, with 702,466 reports filed exclusively for COVID-19 products. This represents a staggering 1322% increase in reports compared to the preceding year. Importantly, this surge cannot be attributed solely to the increased number of vaccine administrations, as evidenced by a quantitative comparison between COVID-19 and influenza vaccines over a 462-day timeframe.

Figure 1. (a) Number of reports filed to VAERS since 1990–2020 for all vaccines combined (gray) shown with the number of reports filed to VAERS from 2021 to 11 August 2023 for only the COVID-19 injections (purple). (b) Number of reports for myocarditis filed to VAERS since 1990–2020 for all vaccines combined (black) is shown with the number of myocarditis reports filed to VAERS from 2021 to 11 August 2023 for only the COVID-19 injections (red). (c) Number of reports for myocarditis filed to VAERS (red) plotted against the number of COVID-19 injections administered (blue) from 1 May 2020 to 3 July 2023. COVID-19, coronavirus disease 2019; VAERS, vaccine adverse events report system.

Comparative Analysis

The comparison between COVID-19 and influenza vaccines reveals compelling insights. Despite 2.3 times more COVID-19 products administered within the specified timeframe, the number of adverse events reported far surpasses that of influenza vaccines. Specifically, there were 6.2 times more adverse event types reported using the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA) coding system, and an astounding 118 times more AE reports for COVID-19 vaccines.

Moreover, the diversity of adverse events reported after COVID-19 vaccination is striking, with over 11,000 different AE types identified using the MedDRA code. This stands in stark contrast to the number of AE types reported for all other vaccines combined in 2020, which totaled only 5000.

Myocarditis AEs Overview

As of 11 August 2023, VAERS has received 3078 reports of COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis, constituting 0.3% of all reported adverse events. Alarmingly, 76% of these cases resulted in emergency care and hospitalization, with 3% ending in fatalities. Notably, 69% of myocarditis cases occurred in men. Figure 1(b) illustrates the absolute numbers of myocarditis reports in VAERS U.S. Domestic Data, revealing a marked increase in reports following the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, aligning with the pattern observed for general adverse events.

Temporal Analysis

Figure 1(c) juxtaposes myocarditis reports from VAERS with the 7-day rolling average of daily new vaccine doses administered, showcasing overlapping trajectories. This temporal correlation suggests a potential association between vaccine administration and myocarditis occurrences.

Characteristics of Myocarditis Cases

Table 1 outlines characteristics of reported myocarditis cases by vaccine type, commonly associated with chest pain/discomfort (53%), elevated troponin (50%), and abnormal echocardiogram/ST-segment elevation (57%). Additionally, Table 2 provides dose-wise counts and percentages of AEs and clinical tests secondary to COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis.

Table 1. Characteristics of myocarditis cases in VAERS.

Vaccine typeMyocarditis cases Age  Time toonsetaSexDied
 N (%) MeanSD MeanSD% MaleN (%)
All manufacturers3078 (100) 3217 331956989 (2.9)
Pfizer1924 (62.51) 2917 332367251 (2.7)
Moderna1014 (32.94) 3817 28786726 (2.6)
Janssen113 (3.67) 4316 461055610 (8.8)
Novavax1 (0.03) 24 100 (0)
Unknown26 (0.85) 2917 78145382 (7.7)
aTime (days) from the last vaccination to myocarditis report. SD, standard deviation; VAERS, vaccine adverse events reports system.

Table 2. Dose-wise counts and percentages of adverse events and clinical tests secondary to COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis.

Dose numberChest pain, N (%)Fatigue, N (%)Troponin elevation, N (%)C-reactive protein, N (%)ST-segment elevation ECG abnormal, N (%)
Dose 1406 (51)98 (12)305 (37)101 (13)427 (54)
Dose 2784 (60)128 (10)777 (60)224 (17)853 (65)
Dose 3169 (55)32 (10)144 (47)48 (16)177 (58)

Figure 3. (a) All myocarditis reports in VAERS Domestic Data as of 11 August 2023 according to CDC age grouping. (b) All myocarditis reports filed to VAERS normalized to shot number as per CDC age grouping. CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; VAERS, vaccine adverse events reports system.

Age Distribution

An alarming finding is the high proportion of myocarditis reports among younger age groups. Thirty percent of all myocarditis reports were for children aged 0–20, with 50% occurring in young adults aged 0–30. Furthermore, children aged 12–17 had the highest reporting rate, with 571 reports filed to VAERS over 731 days, representing 19% of all myocarditis reports.

Comparative Analysis

The magnitude of myocarditis reports post-COVID-19 vaccination is striking. In 2021 alone, 2414 reports of myocarditis were filed to VAERS, 223 times higher than the average of all vaccines combined over the past 30 years. Additionally, of the total myocarditis reports, 92 fatalities were recorded, with 7.6% of these deaths occurring in individuals under 20 years of age, including an 11-year-old and a 12-year-old.

Prevalence and Demographic Patterns

The prevalence of myocarditis reports in VAERS significantly escalates following the second vaccine dose, particularly among males and individuals under 30. Statistical analysis using the chi-square test corroborates these findings, revealing significant associations between dose and myocarditis (χ^2 (1, 639,780) = 587.1094, p < 0.00001), gender and myocarditis (χ^2 (1, N = 639,780) = 1567.748, p < 0.00001), and age and myocarditis (χ^2 (1, N = 596,852) = 1579.418, p < 0.00001).

Figure 4 highlights the stark disparity, with five times more myocarditis reports following the second dose, particularly notable among 15-year-old males. Regardless of age, myocarditis cases are markedly more frequent post-second dose.

Implications and Case Examples

The potential severity of myocarditis cases is underscored by instances of sudden death reported to VAERS. For instance, a 33-year-old healthy man succumbed to cardiac arrest 600 days following the second dose of BNT162b2. Similarly, a 15-year-old boy tragically passed away 358 days after the first dose during hospitalization for symptoms initially suggestive of a mild illness, including nausea, fever, and headache.

Furthermore, chest pain emerged as a common concomitant adverse event, reported by 51% of individuals filing myocarditis reports in VAERS. Notably, fatigue was reported by 12% following the first dose. The significance of chest pain may not be readily recognized by children, adolescents, or even some medical professionals as a warning sign of myocarditis, as exemplified by a specific case (VAERS_ID: 1764974).

The epidemiological analysis underscores the heightened risk of acute myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination, particularly after the second dose, and among specific demographic groups. The severity and potential fatality of myocarditis cases, coupled with the challenge of recognizing symptoms, necessitate vigilant monitoring, education, and further research to ensure vaccine safety and mitigate risks effectively.

Figure 4. All myocarditis reports in VAERS Domestic Data as of 11 August 2023 are plotted according to age and dose [dose 1 (pink), dose 2 (green), and dose 3 (blue)]. – VAERS, vaccine adverse events report system.


Case Information TermsPerson 1 (VAERS ID: 2658000)Person 2 (VAERS ID: 2599510)
Preexisting conditionsNoneNone
Vaccine lot numberFF2593FC3184
Perioda600 days358 days
DescriptionThe patient suddenly collapsed while jogging. He was 33 y/o healthy, fit, active male with no cardiac issues, the autopsy diagnosis was myocarditis.Started feeling significantly ill 4 days before death with complaints of nausea (unable to keep food down), weakness, and decreased food/water intake. Headache reported and sharp abdominal pain. Had a fever on admission to the hospital 1 day before death. Death 1 year after vaccine administration. Cause of death – idiopathic myocarditis.
aDays from the last vaccination to death. COVID-19, coronavirus disease 2019; VAERS, vaccine adverse events reports system.

Figure 5. (a) VAERS reports of cardiac AEs by age group as of 11 August 2023. (b) VAERS reports of cardiac AEs by age group as of 11 August 2023, normalized to dose data. AE, adverse event; VAERS, vaccine adverse events report system.

The analysis of myocarditis cases reported to VAERS reveals a significant surge in 2021, coinciding with the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines. Most cases reported were in young men, with the highest incidences observed following the second vaccine dose. The temporal association, along with reporting by healthcare workers, suggests a deterministic link between COVID-19 vaccines and myocarditis.

Furthermore, the risk of cardiac involvement from SARS-CoV-2 infection emphasizes the importance of accurately reporting vaccine-induced myocarditis cases. However, under-reporting remains a challenge, with the reported cases likely representing only a fraction of the actual occurrences.

The increased risk of myocarditis following the second vaccine dose, especially in younger individuals, suggests a dose-response relationship. The temporal pattern of myocarditis reports, predominantly within days of vaccination, underscores the clinical concern and temporal relationship with vaccine administration.

The clinical implications of vaccine-induced myocarditis, particularly in younger individuals, remain uncertain. Long-term follow-up and comprehensive cardiac evaluation are warranted, considering the potential for adverse outcomes such as heart failure and cardiac death.

The mRNA lipid nanoparticle platform used in COVID-19 vaccines presents novel challenges, with the potential for widespread cellular damage and inflammation. The persistence of spike protein circulation and its impact on cardiac health raise concerns about long-term sequelae.

The expedited timeline for vaccine development, coupled with safety signals emerging early in the vaccination campaign, underscores the need for vigilance and prompt action in response to adverse events. Historical examples of vaccine recalls highlight the importance of proactive monitoring and intervention.

Despite current recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination, particularly booster doses, the disproportionate risk of myocarditis in young individuals raises questions about the overall risk-benefit balance, especially considering the negligible risk of severe COVID-19 in this population. Some countries have suspended certain vaccine formulations in young people due to safety concerns, emphasizing the need for careful consideration of risk factors.

In conclusion, further research is needed to understand the mechanisms and long-term consequences of COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis. Comprehensive risk-benefit assessments and ongoing surveillance are essential to inform vaccination strategies and ensure patient safety.

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