Researchers have not found causal links between COVID-19 vaccination and deaths, but a handful of post-vaccine deaths are making headlines.
One such case is the death of Kassidi Kurrill, a 39-year-old resident of Ogden, Utah, who recently passed away four days after receiving the second dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Before her death, Kurrill complained that her heart was racing and was later rushed to the emergency room. Doctors reported that “her liver was not functioning,” according to her father, Alfred Hawley, in an interview with Salt Lake City–based KUTV.
Kurrill died some 30 hours later.
She reported having no significant side effects from the first vaccine dose.
Her family is awaiting autopsy results.
A Miami physician died from immune thrombocytopenia in January after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, but researchers have not linked the death to vaccination.
But outside of vaccine-related anaphylaxis, making a case for vaccine injury is difficult. Some of the deaths could be tied to undiagnosed severe illnesses.
The observed case fatality ratio for COVID-19 itself is approximately 1.8% in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database lists 960 deaths among 25,072 COVID-19 vaccine reports. The deaths are not necessarily linked to the vaccines. HHS stresses that VAERS “alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness.”
The 25,072 COVID-19 vaccine VAERS entries represent a sliver of the approximately 90 million individuals who have been vaccinated in the U.S.