Friday, September 1, 2023

Dozens of Death Certificates List COVID-19 Vaccination as Cause of Death

Dozens of Death Certificates List COVID-19 Vaccination as Cause of Death

George Watts Jr. in a file image. (Courtesy of the Watts family) 

Dozens of people were killed by COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, death certificates show.

COVID-19 vaccination is listed on 26 death certificates across five states, an Epoch Times review found.

That includes a 78-year-old Minnesota man who died on Jan. 5, 2021. The man suffered sudden cardiac death just 10 hours after receiving a second COVID-19 vaccine dose.

In another case, a 60-year-old Massachusetts man died on Jan. 16, 2021, with conditions including thrombocytopenia after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. Thrombocytopenia means low levels of blood platelets.

Certifiers listed COVID-19 vaccination on part one of some certificates. According to guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), part one of a certificate is for causes that lead directly to death.

In other instances, the vaccination was listed in part two. That part is for "other significant conditions that contributed to the death," according to instructions from the CDC for medical examiners and coroners.

Certifiers are told to include in part one or two "any disease, abnormality, injury, or poisoning, if believed to have adversely affected the decedent."

"Significant diseases or injuries that did not contribute to death, even if present, should not be listed," Dr. Marcus Nashelsky, a medical examiner in Iowa, wrote in a review of the guidance.

The CDC did not respond to requests for comment on the number of deaths it now says COVID-19 vaccination caused or contributed to.

The agency has maintained as recently as July that the number is nine.

Currently, CDC has identified 9 reports of death where the available evidence suggests that J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccination caused or contributed to the deaths," the CDC's Freedom of Information Act office told The Epoch Times on June 13.

A CDC webpage said that authorities had reviewed reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which the CDC helps manage, and supporting materials such as death certificates.

"Continued monitoring has identified nine deaths causally associated with J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccination," the page stated.

The CDC updated the page on July 13 to remove that language. The page currently does not list a number of deaths following COVID-19 vaccination that authorities have confirmed as causally associated, or connected.

"CDC is no longer providing updates on case counts of adverse events following COVD-19 vaccinations and instead is referring the public to the published data," a CDC spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email. The change was attributed to the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, which happened in May.


State databases of death certificates show that the CDC has known for years that the vaccines caused or contributed to other deaths.

In Massachusetts and Minnesota, medical examiners and other certifiers have listed COVID-19 vaccination as a cause of death on 22 death certificates. That includes a 10-year-old boy. The deaths occurred in 2021 or 2022. The CDC had access to the certificates as early as 2021.

The state-level data was obtained by independent researchers and reviewed by The Epoch Times.

In Massachusetts, nine deaths with COVID-19 vaccination as a cause were reported in addition to the death on Jan. 16, 2021.

An 84-year-old woman who died on Feb. 13, 2021, with a urinary tract infection and delirium, received her second COVID-19 vaccine dose five days before dying. "She developed fever and mental status changes shortly after getting it," the certifier wrote.

An 85-year-old woman who died on Feb. 19, 2021, from sepsis and other conditions had received her second dose the prior week, the certificate stated.

A 62-year-old woman who died from brain bleeding amid low blood platelet levels received a COVID-19 shot 11 days before her death, according to the certificate.

A 67-year-old woman passed away on March 19, 2021, with diabetes and other conditions "in the setting of recent fentanyl use and COVID-19 vaccination," her certificate stated.

A 97-year-old woman died of heart failure on April 4, 2021. COVID-19 vaccination was listed as a contributing cause.

Cardiac arrhythmia, COVID-19 vaccination, and heart disease were listed as what killed a 59-year-old woman who died on April 16, 2021.

A sudden death from cardiopulmonary arrest in a 60-year-old man on May 18, 2021, was preceded by hours by a COVID-19 shot, a certifier said.

Two additional deaths—the boy and an 88-year-old man—were reported as being caused in part by COVID-19 vaccination. The boy contracted COVID-19 after being vaccinated while the man received a recent shot and suffered from "failure to thrive" and dementia.


In Minnesota, 11 deaths with COVID-19 vaccination as a cause were reported in addition to the Jan. 5, 2021, death.

A 77-year-old woman suffered a heart attack a day after receiving a second COVID-19 dose, according to her death certificate. The certifier said the heart attack happened "for unclear reasons," adding, "The case was reported to the CDC, though it's not clear as to any mechanism for how the vaccine could have led to the cardiac arrest."

The woman died on Feb. 24, 2021.

All of the COVID-19 vaccines can cause heart inflammation, which can lead to a heart attack, the CDC has since acknowledged.

A 92-year-old woman was vaccinated on Feb. 27, 2021, and "felt sick" after the vaccination, the certifier wrote. She died from a heart attack three days later.

An 82-year-old woman died on March 9, 2021, from hypertension and other causes, with her second Pfizer dose listed as having been administered about three weeks prior.

A 65-year-old man who received a Pfizer shot on March 5, 2021, presented to cardiologists with chest pain six days later. He died within a week from a presumed heart attack, the certifier wrote.

An 86-year-old man died on Aug. 24, 2021, from acute respiratory distress syndrome, a lung condition that features trouble breathing, "due to COVID-19 pneumonia," according to his death certificate. He received two doses of Moderna's vaccine earlier in the year.

A 73-year-old man died on Dec. 13, 2021, from respiratory failure and COVID-19 pneumonia that happened despite receiving a messenger RNA vaccine, the certifier said. His condition was "felt to be due to COVID-19," the certificate stated.

A 71-year-old woman died from acute respiratory distress syndrome "due to COVID-19" on Jan. 4, 2022. She had received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, the certifier noted.

An 82-year-old woman died on June 2, 2022, from respiratory failure, septic shock, and pneumonia, with contributing causes being a heart attack and a recent COVID-29 booster, her death certificate stated.

A recent COVID-19 booster shot, an influenza vaccine, and hyperlipidemia were among the causes of death listed on a certificate for a 62-year-old woman who died on Dec. 2, 2022.

The Department of Public Health and Minnesota Department of Health did not respond to requests for comment.

Coding Issues

The CDC assigns codes for each death under the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The CDC did code a handful of the deaths as vaccine-related.

For the earliest Massachusetts death, for instance, the CDC assigned codes including T88.1, which means "other complications following immunization, not elsewhere classified."

The CDC also used the same code for the death of the 90-year-old Minnesota woman, along with another code, Y59.0, that is also for vaccine side effects.

The death of the 68-year-old man in Minnesota was also coded with Y59.0.

Those deaths "were appropriately coded with the vaccine codes," a CDC spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email.

None of the other deaths that listed COVID-19 vaccination were coded with a vaccine code.

"For the examples listed, the death certificate mentions the COVID vaccine but does not associate any causality," the spokesperson claimed.

Other codes were used in the absence of specification of causality, the review found. One of the people, for instance, was listed as having "a history of COVID infection" in May 2020. He died in January 2021. A code for COVID-19 was assigned to the death.

The CDC also said in emails obtained by The Epoch Times that the codes "pertain to adverse effects of vaccine, not vaccination," adding, "Vaccination is not a disease or cause of death, so simple mention of the vaccine or vaccination without mention of adverse effects will not get coded."

Aaron Hertzberg, an independent researcher who obtained some of the certificates, said that the explanations defy reason.

"The CDC is essentially trying to claim that a coroner who writes down the COVID vaccine as a cause of death without using specific language of adverse effects or side effects of vaccination means to convey that the vaccination that he's indicating on the death certificate as a cause of death did not have any role or any causal relationship to the death itself," Mr. Hertzberg told The Epoch Times. "I think the absurdity of this position is self-evident."

A retired pathologist who asked not to be named due to fear of repercussions agreed.

"Part 1 of a death certificate lists the immediate cause of death as well as contributing conditions as a chain of events. Part 2 lists other significant conditions contributing to death. So it is of course incorrect to state that some conditions listed in Parts 1 and 2 do not contribute to death," the pathologist told The Epoch Times via email. "If it is CDC practice to assign ICD codes to all conditions contributing to death, it should obviously not be excluding codes on death certificates related to the Covid shots."

Dr. James Gill, the chief medical examiner for Connecticut, said that certificates can list conditions that do not contribute to a death, despite the CDC's guidance.

"If someone were to look at a death certificate, and someone who's dying from say complications of lung cancer, and then part two says recent COVID vaccination, that kind of raises the question well, how did that COVID vaccination actually play a role in the death?" Dr. Gill told The Epoch Times.

"Now if someone got a vaccination, and then they die a few days later, and in an autopsy you find they've got myocarditis or some inflammation of the heart and there have been reports of associations between vaccination and [the condition], then you have more of a link. And I think that would make more sense to then include the vaccination."

Teenage Deaths

Dr. Gill and other medical examiners reported in February 2022 that two teenage boys died shortly after receiving a second dose of Pfizer's vaccine. Data show that the heart inflammation the vaccine causes is most likely to occur among young males after a second dose.

Both boys were found dead in their beds within four days of vaccination. They were pronounced dead at their homes.

The examiners found evidence that the vaccinations caused myocarditis, which led to the deaths.

CDC officials challenged the findings in a followup paper in the same journal, claiming that they found evidence of possible alternative causes. The original report, they said, "unfortunately omitted many important findings provided by pathologic evaluations at the CDC that suggested an alternate cause of death for patient A and identified a specific infectious cause of death for patient B."

"These omissions could lead incorrectly to the assumption that COVID-19 vaccines were directly responsible for the deaths of these 2 patients," they added.

But the CDC was wrong, Dr. Gill and his colleagues said in a reply to the challenge.

The CDC "overstepped its role" by diagnosing the death of one of the boys to clostridial sepsis, the authors said.

"It misinterpreted common postmortem findings, including bacterial overgrowth. This is what causes bodies to putrefy after death as the intestinal flora spread throughout the body, and this is why there was no associated inflammation," they explained. "The autopsy on patient B was done 2 days after his death. Practicing forensic pathologists routinely see this type of postmortem bacterial overgrowth at autopsy. In fact, studies have used the postmortem growth of clostridium to attempt to determine the postmortem interval. This bacterial invasion is not the cause of death but a consequence of death."

The authors said they should have included the results of testing for parvovirus B (PVB) but noted the virus is often detected in people after death.

"The histologic features in patient A were not those of viral myocarditis, nor would the ischemic injury be explained by such an infection. Thus, we conclude that the detection of the PVB genome is an incidental finding," they said.

Emails obtained by The Epoch Times show the CDC went to the journal instead of communicating with Dr. Gill and his colleagues. Dr. Gill offered feedback on the CDC's attempt to challenge the relation of vaccination to the deaths, but the CDC submitted its reply anyway.

The death certificate of the boy from Connecticut ended up mentioning the vaccination as a cause, according to Dr. Gill. It's unclear whether the other one did.

Other Deaths

Death certificates from Vermont show another two deaths listed as being caused by COVID-19 vaccination.

A 96-year-old woman died on May 29, 2021, from heart disease and old age.

The certifier wrote that there was a "clinical impression of generalized decline following COVID-19 Johnson & Johnson vaccine."

A 45-year-old woman died from pulmonary thromboembolism on Nov. 21, 2021, following COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations, the death certificate states.

The medical codes were not listed for the certificates, so it's unclear whether the CDC coded one or both with a vaccine-related code.

Two additional certificates, made public by the families of the deceased, show COVID-19 vaccination listed as the cause or a cause of death.

Joseph Keating, 26, of South Dakota died on Nov. 12, 2021, from myocarditis, according to his certificate. The certifier wrote that he'd recently received a booster of Pfizer's shot.

George Watts Jr., 24, died on Oct. 27, 2021, from "COVID-19 vaccine-related myocarditis," the certifier said. Mr. Watts collapsed at home several weeks after receiving a second Pfizer shot and was pronounced dead after being rushed to a hospital.

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