DETROIT — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the case of a 13-year-old Saginaw County boy who died in his sleep three days after getting his second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in mid-June.
The county well being division confirmed the investigation, telling the Free Press that the medical expert’s workplace performed an post-mortem and the dying was reported to the state well being division in addition to the CDC.
“The investigation as to whether there is a correlation between his death and vaccination is now at the federal level with CDC,” stated a joint assertion issued by Saginaw County Health Department Medical Director Dr. Delicia Pruitt and Health Officer Christina Harrington.
“Meanwhile, the health department continues to encourage families to speak with their physicians to weigh their own risks and benefits of vaccination.”
The boy, Jacob Clynick, lived in Zilwaukee and had simply accomplished eighth grade when he received his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine June 13 at a Walgreens retailer, stated Tammy Burages, his aunt.
Jacob was wholesome, she stated, and had no identified underlying medical situations. He was wanting ahead to beginning lessons within the fall as a freshman at Carrollton High School.
He complained of widespread post-vaccine signs, she stated, within the two days between his immunization and dying, which included fatigue and fever.
On the night time of June 15, he had a little bit of a abdomen ache, too, but it surely wasn’t extreme sufficient to trigger critical concern, Burages stated.
Jacob went to sleep that night time, and by no means wakened.
“He passed away in the middle of the night at home,” she stated.
Many unknowns in teen’s dying
The household was advised that preliminary post-mortem findings recommend Jacob’s coronary heart was enlarged when he died and there was fluid round his coronary heart, Burages stated.
The Michigan Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine, which is the contracted medical expert for Saginaw County, wouldn’t verify these preliminary findings to the Free Press.
“We can verify that we are managing the investigation, and that’s the extent of what I can share,” stated Randy Pfau, director of operations for the institute. The institute’s medical doctors are speaking with the CDC on this case, he stated.
“It’s still an ongoing investigation,” he stated, which may take three to 5 months to finish. “I know the doctors are working on this case as a priority.”
No reason behind dying was listed on Jacob’s dying certificates, stated Becky Naessens, funeral director for Deisler Funeral Home, as a result of there is not one but.
“Depending on the county and what labs … medical examiners use, it could be weeks or it could be months, quite honestly,” she stated, earlier than extra information is thought.
Jacob’s funeral was June 26 — simply three days after a CDC advisory committee acknowledged “a likely association” between the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines and a threat of coronary heart issues in adolescents and younger adults.
Though it is nonetheless unclear what prompted Jacob’s dying, his aunt hopes that federal investigators will no less than discover some clues from his post-mortem investigation.
“This is one of those things that I suspect they’re never going to really be able to say, ‘Oh, it was shot’ or ‘It wasn’t shot,’ ” Burages stated.
“There must be something that makes certain kids more susceptible to having a serious heart reaction, and I think Jacob was one of those kids. So whatever that serious thing was, whatever the underlying health issue was, is something maybe that the autopsy will tell us.
“Of course, it’ll be months down the street and loads of different children will get the shot earlier than then, so it might be good to know now.”
A rare possible myocarditis association
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices found that among adolescents and young adults who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, there appears to be an association with rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis.
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle that can affect heart rhythm and its ability to pump. Pericarditis is inflammation of the sac or pericardium around the heart.
The complications have been reported at a rate of 12.6 per million among people ages 12-39 within 21 days after a second dose of the vaccine. The problems were most likely to appear within the first five days after vaccination, according to a Vaccine Safety Datalink analysis. Some cases have been reported after the first vaccine dose as well.
The heart complications are more likely to occur in boys and young men, the analysis found, and the most common symptoms are chest pain, shortness of breath, and the sensation of having a rapid heartbeat, a fluttering, or pounding heart.
As of Monday, 780 instances of myocarditis and pericarditis have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System amongst individuals ages 30 and youthful who had obtained a COVID-19 vaccine.
Operated jointly by the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, VAERS allows anyone — a patient, a doctor or nurse, friend or relative — to report any kind of post-vaccine medical problem, from a sore arm to sudden death. The reports are not substantiated or proved to be linked to the vaccines, but they are monitored and investigated as health officials watch for anything that might signal a safety concern.
Of those 780 reports, CDC and FDA have confirmed 518 reports of myocarditis or pericarditis and are investigating those cases to understand more. The findings led the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to add a warning to the fact sheets for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
Still, the CDC committee evaluating concerns about the heart problems post-vaccination agreed that the risk of severe COVID-19 illness and hospitalization among unvaccinated adolescents and young adults was higher in every age group than the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis after a vaccine.
“Currently, the benefit still clearly outweighs the risks for COVID vaccinations in adolescents and young adults,” said Dr. Sara Oliver, lead for the COVID-19 Vaccines ACIP Work Group during the June 23 hearing.
That’s a sentiment echoed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which issued a joint statement after the hearing that was co-signed by more than a dozen other organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It said, in part:
“The facts are clear: this is an extremely rare side effect, and only an exceedingly small number of people will experience it after vaccination. Importantly, for the young people who do, most cases are mild, and individuals recover often on their own or with minimal treatment. In addition, we know that myocarditis and pericarditis are much more common if you get COVID-19, and the risks to the heart from COVID-19 infection can be more severe.”
That’s one thing Dr. Rakesh Singh has seen in his apply. He’s the medical director of the pediatric coronary heart failure and transplantation program at NYU Langone Health and has led the hospital’s care of kids with acute instances of coronavirus.
“About 15-20% of patients who have acute COVID also have evidence of heart inflammation,” Singh told Dr. Marc Siegel, host of SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio’s, “Doctor Radio Reports.” Many require supplemental oxygen and some need ventilator support.
“Having watched this illness progress over the past 15 months, I believe myocarditis from the COVID virus is what I’m extra fearful about than what I’m seeing after vaccination.”
How the CDC investigates vaccine reports
The CDC did not acknowledge an investigation of Jacob’s death, but told the Free Press “all critical opposed occasions are reviewed by CDC and FDA medical officers.”
Reports can be classified as serious or non-serious, said Martha Sharan, who works in public affairs for the CDC’s Vaccine Task Force, COVID Response, in an email to a Free Press reporter.
“The code of Federal Regulation defines ‘critical’ as: dying, life threatening sickness, hospitalization or prolongation of hospitalization, everlasting incapacity, congenital anomalies, or start defects,” she said. “If any of these situations get checked, the report is classed as a critical opposed occasion.
“For reports classified as serious, CDC follows up to get medical records: hospital records, clinic records, death certificates, and autopsy reports to better understand the adverse event.”
The CDC critiques the data, she stated, and confirms the licensed reason behind dying and “then does further analysis to see if there’s anything unusual or unexpected happening.”
Medical specialists warn that when analyzing vaccine security information, particular person reviews of deaths have to be thought-about within the context of a number of components, together with the general dying price amongst individuals who’ve gotten the vaccines in contrast with the general dying price of the unvaccinated inhabitants.
Anytime a mass vaccination program is rolled out on a scale comparable to this one, some individuals will die or have one thing unhealthy occur to them after getting a dose of a vaccine just by random likelihood alone.
While Jacob’s household continues to grieve his dying, Burages stated she hopes in the future, they will have solutions which may assist different households.
“If there are factors that can make it riskier for some kids (to get a vaccine), I hope health officials can figure out what those are,” she stated, remembering Jacob as a form boy who stood as much as bullies and cherished to go tenting along with his dad.
“The other kids at school looked up to him and voted him ‘Most likely to become president of the United States’ this last school year,” she stated. “He loved to tell corny dad jokes and always had plenty of them to hand out. He found the funny side of every situation and the world will be a little less fun without him in it.”
Follow Kristen Shamus on Twitter @kristenshamus.