The benefits of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing serious illness and other complications outweigh the risk of myocarditis, which is higher after COVID-19 itself


“They couldn’t find a single healthy child in America who died from COVID-19 […] but one in 2,700 people has myocarditis”; “athletes collapse on the playing fields as if from myocarditis and it is because of the vaccines”; Moderna’s patent filed in 2019 is linked to the pandemic


faulty reasoning: Cases of heart inflammation after COVID-19 mRNA vaccination in adolescents and young adults are rare and typically mild. In fact, the risk of heart inflammation is higher after COVID-19 than after vaccination. Vaccination against COVID-19 reduces this risk, in addition to other complications such as prolonged COVID and multisystem inflammatory syndrome.
inadequate support: There is no evidence to indicate that athletes who received a COVID-19 vaccine are at increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Moderna’s 2019 patent application describes a general method for producing modified proteins in mammals. While this method was later used to develop the COVID-19 vaccine, the patent is not specific to this or any other vaccine and does not prove that Moderna knew about the virus at the time of filing.


COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are associated with rare cases of typically mild inflammation of the heart muscle. However, this risk is low compared to the risk of cardiac complications that comes with COVID-19 itself. By reducing the chance of infection and preventing severe COVID-19, vaccination protects against many problems associated with the disease, including myocarditis.

FULL CLAIM: “They couldn’t find a single healthy child in America who died from COVID-19 […] but one in 2,700 people has myocarditis”; “athletes collapse on the playing fields as if from myocarditis and it is because of the vaccines”; Stéphane Bancel applied to the US patent office for his mRNA vaccine in March 2019, five months before “the leak”


On May 10, 2022, comedian Theo Von posted a four-minute video on Facebook video clip from an interview between him and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The clip was an excerpt from a 45-minute interview for Von’s podcast This Past Weekend, which was the first published on YouTube on December 9, 2021. The Facebook post received more than 1,200 interactions on the platform and the full interview had more than 435,000 views on Von’s YouTube channel.

The modern patent

During the first half of the video, Kennedy discussed a conspiracy theory suggesting that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted from “an accidental or deliberate release of a laboratory-generated virus” in Moderna’s labs. Kennedy claimed Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel foresaw the risks of a potential leak, prompting him to apply for a US patent on the mRNA vaccine in March 2019, months before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. .

However, this claim is inaccurate and conflates the patents for multiple different inventions that led to the development of mRNA vaccine technology with the COVID-19 vaccine itself.

Biomedical developments, such as mRNA vaccine technology, are generally not the result of a single invention, but of multiple innovations that ultimately lead to the final product. patents protect those innovations by granting an exclusive right to the inventor that prevents others from using or selling them without permission for a limited period.

modern has several patents related to the development of mRNA technology that was later used in its COVID-19 vaccine. We were unable to find the patent application that Kennedy says Bancel filed in March 2019. However, Bancel is listed as an inventor on a US record. patent request (US20210115101A1) filed on October 28, 2019. This application, which does not mention SARS-CoV-2, describes a general method for expressing modified proteins in mammals by administering “a recombinant protein, a modified RNA and/or a primary construction. using lipid nanoparticles. The description states that “the lipid nanoparticle perhaps formulated for use in a vaccine such as, but not limited to, against a pathogen”. [emphasis added].

In other words, this patent application describes general procedures for producing modified proteins in mammals using lipid nanoparticles. Although Moderna researchers later used these procedures to develop the COVID-19 vaccine, this and other patent applications prior to the COVID-19 outbreak do not contain any reference to, and are not specific to, SARS-CoV-2. virus. Therefore, they provide no evidence that Moderna knew about SARS-CoV-2 before the pandemic began. To suggest that would be like claiming that someone who patented a parachute knew that a specific plane would crash.

Risk of myocarditis after vaccination against COVID-19 in young people

During the second part of the video clip, Kennedy stated that “they could not find a single healthy child in the United States who died of COVID-19 […] but one in 2,700 people has myocarditis.” This statement implies that the risk of vaccination against COVID-19 in children and young adults far outweighs the benefits of the vaccine. But this implication is misleading and actually contradicts current scientific evidence, as Health Feedback explained in this earlier review.

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium). people with mild myocarditis You may have no symptoms or mild symptoms such as chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat, and shortness of breath, which often resolve quickly with rest and medication. However, some cases develop into severe myocarditis, which can cause irreversible damage to the heart or even be fatal.

The cause Most cases of myocarditis are unknown, but when the cause is identified, it is often an infection. Rarely, myocarditis can also occur after receiving certain vaccines, including COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.[1,2]. But a 2022 study from researchers in Singapore suggests that the risk of heart inflammation is no higher after vaccination against COVID-19 than after receiving traditional vaccines against other infections.[3].

Public health authorities, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization, recognize myocarditis as a rare side effect of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, particularly in young men and after the second dose. However, Kennedy exaggerated this risk based on the results of a 2021 study by researchers in Hong Kong that was previously misused to make similar claims.

The study evaluated the risk of myocarditis in adolescents aged 12 to 17 years who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.[4]. Kennedy that this study showed that “one in 2,700 [young] people are having myocarditis” is inaccurate. That figure refers specifically to Chinese male adolescents who received the second dose of the vaccine (37.2 per 100,000, or one for every 2,688 adolescents vaccinated). However, the overall risk of myocarditis in adolescents reported in the study is almost half that rate (18.52 per 100,000, or one per 5,400 adolescents vaccinated). This study found one of the highest rates of myocarditis reported to date, also higher than 1.6 cases per 100,000 vaccine doses reported by the Hong Kong Department of Health based on safety monitoring data.

The study also has the limitation of using adverse event reports from pharmacovigilance systems. As Health Feedback explained several times, these data alone cannot establish a causal association between the adverse event (myocarditis) and vaccination. That is, those reports cannot prove that the vaccine caused the myocarditis.

Finally, Kennedy did not explain that all cases of myocarditis reported in the study were mild and resolved after simple treatment. Unlike these rare typically mild cases of myocarditis associated with COVID-19 vaccines, SARS-CoV-2 infection poses a higher risk of cardiac complications, including more severe myocarditis than that reported after COVID-19 vaccination[2].

Recent estimates from the US and Nordic countries suggest that the risk of myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination in young men may be higher than initially reported[5,6]. But this risk is still two to eight times lower than the risk of myocarditis after SARS-CoV-2 infection, according to CDC estimates.[7].

COVID-19 vaccines provide benefits for children even if the mortality rate in this age group is low

Kennedy’s suggestion that COVID-19 poses no risk to children and young adults because the death rate from COVID-19 is low in this group is also misleading. Although children and young adults have much lower risk of death from COVID-19 compared to older age groups, some still get seriously ill and die, even in the absence of other known medical conditions. For example, a study in the United Kingdom that looked at COVID-19 deaths in children and young adults during the first year of the pandemic found that around 25% of children who died had no apparent underlying health conditions.[8].

Furthermore, full recovery and death are not the only results of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and young adults also carries the risk of other complications that Kennedy completely ignored, including long covid and a rare but serious condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome that can affect the heart and other organs.

No evidence of a link between COVID-19 vaccines and anecdotal cases of athletes collapsing

In the video clip, Kennedy further stated that “athletes are collapsing on the playing fields like they have myocarditis, and it’s because of the vaccines, and there’s no question about it.” This claim is not supported. In this fact check Per Reuters, several experts explained that there is currently no evidence of an increase in cardiac arrest cases in athletes, nor of a link between existing cases and COVID-19 vaccines. Instead, they pointed to increased online coverage of some anecdotal reports.


Some proprietary technologies prior to the COVID-19 pandemic were instrumental in successfully developing a COVID-19 vaccine later on. However, such patents are not specific to the COVID-19 vaccine and do not support Kennedy’s claim that Moderna predicted or was in any way involved in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The evidence available to date contradicts Kennedy’s claims and indicates that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing COVID-19 complications outweigh the low risk of post-vaccination myocarditis in adolescents and young adults. . This supports the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation that all people over five years of age who do not have medical contraindications be vaccinated against COVID-19.


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