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Did a Teenager Die From Myocarditis After Her Second COVID Dose?
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Did a Teenager Die From Myocarditis After Her Second COVID Dose?

Her cause of death has not been confirmed, and there is currently no proof to suggest it was tied to the vaccine.

A tweet from right-wing provocateur Charlie Kirk suggests the death of a 19-year-old in Illinois is related to her receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

Notorious spreaders of coronavirus and vaccine misinformation Alex Berenson and Robert Kennedy Jr. made the same claim as well. 

Simone Scott was a student at Northwestern University who passed away on June 11 following pneumonia-related issues after receiving a heart transplant in May. Scott had graduated from Mason High School in Ohio, and the school district said in a post on Facebook: “This weekend we learned that Simone passed away following what was suspected as being a virus (not COVID) attack (sic) her heart a few weeks ago, which resulted in her receiving a heart transplant.” Cincinnati NBC affiliate WLWT 5 reported that Scott had received her second COVID vaccine shot on May 1.

Robert Kennedy Jr.’s anti-vaccine website The Defender claimed in an article that “[Scott’s] doctors have not fully confirmed the cause of her death, but they said it appears Scott suffered from myocarditis,” which the piece suggests could be connected to the vaccine. Scott’s doctors have not, in fact, said any such thing: As evidence for the claim, the article cites only a piece from right-wing college news blog The College Fix, which in turn states only that a diagnosis of “myocarditis-induced heart failure” was speculated by Alex Berenson on Twitter. WLWT 5 reported that “Simone’s parents are still waiting on multiple tests on her heart to come back so they can hopefully learn why they lost their daughter so suddenly.” A local Fox affiliate reported Tuesday that this was still the case. Berenson penned a full-length article on the matter in which he admitted that “Simone’s physicians still have not confirmed to her parents that her vaccine caused her heart failure” and that doctors have not offered any explanation of her passing yet. Such lack of a diagnosis did not stop Berenson—who is not a medical professional and is regularly incorrect in his medical claims—from describing Scott’s death as “a case of apparent myocarditis-induced heart failure.”

Even if Scott did suffer from myocarditis, the question of whether it was brought on by a coronavirus vaccine would still have to be investigated. The CDC recently announced it is investigating 226 instances of vaccinated young males developing myocarditis, though no link between COVID vaccines and the condition has yet been established. 

The College Fix article on the matter also noted that the hospital in which Scott was treated and ultimately passed away has not reported her death to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a public database in which adverse side effects or death can be reported. (For more information on VAERS, please see this previous fact check about how the system is being abused and misinterpreted by anti-vaxxers.)

There is currently no proof to suggest that Simone Scott’s death was caused by her coronavirus vaccine. Whether any of the coronavirus vaccines currently in use in the United States cause myocarditis is still being investigated.

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Alec Dent is a former culture editor and staff writer for The Dispatch.