Study on COVID-19 vaccine heart risks gets retracted

Oct. 5, 2021

For a moment last month, anti-vaxxers had found new damning evidence about the COVID-19 vaccines to cling to. 

“University of Ottawa Heart Institute Retrospective Study Finds 1 in 1,000 mRNA Vaccinations Leads to Myopericarditis,” a headline on TrialSiteNews blared.

But now the preprint study, conducted by scientists at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, have withdrawn the paper, admitting that its conclusions were based on a flawed calculation.

According to the authors, the team originally came up with its estimation after it found that 32 patients out of 32,379 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses administered developed myopericarditis, a combination of  myocarditis and pericarditis — meaning that the inflammatory heart conditions occurred at a rate of about 1 in 1,000.

Yet, the actual number of doses administered during the period studied was 800,000 — making the true rate about 1 in 25,000.

The authors said that the major discrepancy was flagged by other researchers during the peer-review process.

“In order to avoid misleading either colleagues or the general public and press, we the authors unanimously wish to withdraw this paper on the grounds of incorrect incidence data,” the research team said.