Colorado hockey team accused of ‘killing’ players with COVID-19 vaccine mandate

A social media post claimed that the Avalanche, a Colorado-based National Hockey League team, is “killing and injuring” its players and staff by requiring COVID-19 vaccines. The post claimed that an Avalanche player who recently died by suicide was experiencing exacerbated mental illness symptoms due to COVID-19 vaccination.


These types of posts present the false narrative that COVID-19 vaccines negatively impact mental health, which may discourage patients from getting the updated COVID-19 vaccine. This may also discourage patients from seeking appropriate mental health treatment and support if they believe their symptoms are vaccine-induced. Messaging may emphasize that COVID-19 vaccines do not negatively impact mental health. In fact, a 2023 study found that COVID-19 vaccination is associated with improved mental health. The researchers wrote, “Beyond their essential role in limiting COVID-19 infections and heightening survival rates, the vaccines may have provided a greater sense of security and hopefulness, and enabled recipients to feel a level of agency in helping to protect not only themselves but also their family, friends, and co-workers from infection.” The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older.