Trending post alleges COVID-19 vaccine caused vaccine “injuries” among North Dakota hospital patients

In a widely circulated social media post, a user claimed to have observed numerous heart attacks and strokes among young people while working at a hospital on a North Dakota Native reservation. The user attributed these medical emergencies to the COVID-19 vaccine. Some social media users commented on the post asserting that government and public health officials have been covering up so-called vaccine “injuries.”

Risk level: High

Recommendation: Vaccine opponents often link medical emergencies to vaccines without supportive evidence to discourage vaccination. The number of likes and shares on this post elevates the risk. It is recommended doctors in North Dakota be prepared for questions about COVID-19 vaccine safety and heart health in particular. Messaging may emphasize that COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and monitored over three years and have been determined to be safe. The benefits of staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the risks, because getting vaccinated reduces the risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization, death, and long COVID.