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 COVID-19 vaccination. They may also discourage the public from seeking appropriate mental health treatment and support if they believe their symptoms are vaccine-induced. Trending conversations about COVID-19 and mental health provide an opportunity to promote COVID-19 vaccination as a means of improving mental well-being. 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.”