Debunking Myths:

“Did Damar Hamlin’s heart stop because of the COVID vaccine?”

  • Mr Hamlin is a football player for the Buffalo Bills whose heart stopped after he was tackled last Monday night. He was successfully revived and is now doing better. 
  • Lots of speculation why it happened.  
  • There was an image with a date Jan. 11 showing as a CNN headline that read, “Doctor of Damar Hamlin confirms Cardiac Arrest was due to the 4th Booster Vaccine.” However, that headline was fake and was not put out by CNN! 

Let’s look at what’s real though. Here are 3 facts to consider: 

  1. Nearly 95% of the roughly 1700 NFL players are vaccinated against COVID – none of them have had sudden death on the field. 
  2. One cause of sudden death in athletes is heart inflammation (myocarditis) which has happened  after COVID vaccination, with young men being at higher risk. However, the risk of myocarditis is 7 times higher due to infection with the coronavirus, SARS COV-2. If you have had COVID, the risk of myocarditis is 15 times higher regardless of whether you’ve been vaccinated or not compared to those who never contracted the virus. 
  3. Finally, there has never been evidence found that Mr Hamlin had any heart damage from anything. Our January 9, 2023 episode of “Excuse Me Dr!” (see Dr Melissa Clarke’s You Tube channel)  had a whole explaining how his cardiac arrest could have happened as explained by an Emergency and Sports Medicine physician.

Debunked By

Dr. Melissa Clarke

Physician and Health Educator Dr. Melissa Clarke, a Harvard-educated Emergency Medicine physician with over 30 years of healthcare experience, has been on the frontlines in addressing health literacy and misinformation.