Anti-vaccine activists blame COVID-19 vaccines for athletes’ health issues

Social media posts in English and Spanish falsely blame COVID-19 vaccines for athletes’ recent health incidents. Specifically, the posts falsely claim that a tennis player’s collapse during the Miami Open and an Egyptian soccer player’s cardiac arrest were due to the COVID-19 vaccines.


These types of posts may cause patients to falsely attribute sports-related medical emergencies to COVID-19 vaccines and may discourage patients from getting the updated COVID-19 vaccine. Debunking messaging may emphasize that the tennis player’s collapse during the Miami Open was likely due to heat exhaustion and dehydration from high humidity and heat. The cause of the Egyptian soccer player who experienced cardiac arrest mid-game is unclear, but he’s recovering. COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and have been determined to be safe, as adverse reactions are extremely rare. The risk of adverse reactions like myocarditis following vaccination is far lower than the risk following a COVID-19 infection. Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines is a safe way to protect against myocarditis and other health issues that could result from a COVID-19 infection. The CDC recommends the updated COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.