FACT CHECK: Did The Queensland Chief Health Officer Admit The Vaccinated Are Dying From Myocarditis?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows Queensland Chief Health Officer John Gerrard admitting vaccinated citizens are dying from myocarditis.
Gerrard was describing the occurrence of myocarditis in COVID-19 patients, not vaccinated individuals.
An image shared on Facebook shows Gerrard speaking at a conference. “Australian Health Official now admits the vaccinated are now dying from Myocarditis,” the image’s caption claims, suggesting the image shows Gerrard speaking about vaccinated citizens dying from myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle.
This claim appears to be based on a misrepresentation of statements Gerrard made during a Jan. 14 Queensland COVID-19 update address. During the address, a reporter asked Gerrard whether he was concerned about COVID-19 deaths happening at home in Queensland. He responded by saying that he was concerned and that his office had seen reports of people having a short period of illness followed by sudden death.
“That’s been reported elsewhere in Australia and around the world where it’s myocarditis which I think I’ve referred to on a previous occasion,” said Gerrard. “But we are certainly keeping a close eye on that, particularly when there are deaths.” (RELATED: Did The Chief Health Officer Of New South Wales Celebrate Having ‘Only 3 Deaths’ In Children Attributed To The COVID Vaccine?)
A review of the press conference in its entirety makes clear these comments were in response to a question about deaths among COVID-19 patients, not among those who were vaccinated against the disease. At no point in his address does Gerrard state or suggest those vaccinated against COVID-19 are dying from myocarditis.
“The comments made by Dr. John Gerrard in the video were in response to a reporter’s question about COVID-19 positive patients who were passing away at home,” said a spokesperson for the Queensland Department of Health in an email to Check Your Fact. “The comments were not made in reference to people dying after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states on its website that cases of myocarditis after vaccination have been reported, most frequently in “male adolescents and young adults.” It also notes that most who have myocarditis recover quickly. The CDC website reiterates that COVID-19 vaccinations are “safe and effective” and urges people to get vaccinated “as soon as possible.”