Michigan ‘health freedom’ group alleges that a 17-year-old girl died after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine

Last week, a “health freedom” group in Michigan shared a social media post claiming, without evidence, that a 17-year-old girl died shortly after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Comments on the post express concerns about vaccine mandates for students. One social media user wrote, “They are still requiring healthy young kids to take this vaccine on college campuses. I’m just sick about it.”

Recommendation: Vaccine opponents frequently exploit sudden and unexplained deaths to promote false claims about vaccine safety. As this story continues to spread, doctors in Michigan may face questions about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly for young adults. Messaging may emphasize that vaccine mandates are intended to prevent severe illness and death caused by dangerous diseases. A COVID-19 infection can lead to severe illness, hospitalization, death, and long COVID in people of all ages, but staying up to date of COVID-19 vaccines reduces the risk of these negative health outcomes. COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and determined to be safe, as adverse effects are extremely rare. The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older.