‘No link of Covid vaccines with sudden deaths’ 

So far, globally, there has been no convincing data, irrespective of the type of vaccine administered, to implicate Covid vaccines as a cause for sudden deaths, which is referred to as sudden cardiac death / Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).

There have been many claims around Covid-19 vaccines linked to the sudden deaths of doctors in Canada and athletes, but this it’s not true. Covid vaccines are safe and effective. All vaccines have undergone rigorous testing in clinical trials and have been tested on human volunteers before being certified for use in various countries. Although the Covid vaccine is new, the process of vaccine manufacturing (for e.g., using mRNA) has been a well-established technique for many years. The thorough knowledge and advances of which have helped scientists and doctors across the globe to produce a vaccine in such a less time. Some people have side effects after getting their Covid-19 vaccine, while others might have no side effects. In rare cases, people have experienced serious health events after Covid-19 vaccination. Any health problem that happens after vaccination is considered an adverse event. An adverse event can be caused by the vaccine or can be caused by a coincidental event not related to the vaccine, such as an unrelated fever, that happened following vaccination. Ever since the rollout of vaccines, health authorities have been closely monitoring the adverse events using the Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VAERS). Data analysed over the past two years has reassured the fact that serious adverse events like Anaphylaxis, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP), Myocarditis/Pericarditis, GBS are very rare and few in a million occurrences and for all practical purposes, be ignored. Anyone who has been administered a vaccination is under scrutiny for any serious adverse events. So far, globally, there has been no convincing data, irrespective of the type of vaccine administered, to implicate Covid vaccines as a cause for sudden deaths, which is referred to as sudden cardiac death / Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS). It is a term used to describe unexpected cardiac death in young adults. This occurs most frequently in adults in their mid-30s to mid-40s and affects men twice as often as it does women. It can also occur in people younger than that, such as teenage athletes who suddenly die while playing a sport. 

Cause of SADS 

SADS has existed long before the Covid-19 outbreak, and subsequent vaccines were available. It is usually something that runs in families where you see some kind of an acquired, either an electrical problem or something called a cardiomyopathy, which is a problem with the heart muscle, leading to sudden, unexplained death in young individuals. Any condition that puts a strain on the heart or damages heart tissue can increase the risk of sudden death. Some conditions that can lead to sudden cardiac death in young people are: 

Thickened heart muscle 

Heart rhythm disorders 

Blunt chest injury 

Congenital heart defect 

If you have somebody in your family, a parent, a sibling, a cousin, or an aunt and uncle who died suddenly, for unexplained reasons, those are the types of populations in which we really ramp up our screening efforts. The reason we also tend to focus on athletes is not so much so because necessarily, they have a higher risk of having SADS, but because they may have a higher risk of dying from it, if they do have it due to the stress involved.

Dr Dimpu Edwin Jonathan is a Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Aster RV Hospital.

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