Anti-vaxxers promoted a study claiming the COVID-19 vaccine causes heart inflammation, but the study has been retracted due to mathematical errors. Due to miscalculations, a preprint research initially published on MedRxiv that claimed a 1 in 1,000 risk of myocarditis from a COVID-19 vaccine has been retracted.
MedRxiv is a website that publishes research that has not yet been peer-reviewed. Researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute conducted the study, which was originally published on September 16. It was frequently utilized to spread the message that the COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous to use.
The study was withdrawn owing to a mathematical error. The rate of myocarditis, or heart muscle inflammation, was estimated by dividing the number of COVID-19 vaccinations in Ottawa by the number of myocarditis cases. Based on their estimations, myocarditis had a chance of 1 in 1,000, or 0.1 percent, according to their estimations.
The study’s numbers, however, were incorrect. The authors grossly underestimated number of vaccinations given, reporting a figure that was 25 times lower than the real figure. They first said that 32,379 vaccinations were given, while the real amount was 854,930.
The study was retracted on September 24 as a result of this error, with the researchers stating in a statement, “Our reported incidence looked enormously exaggerated by an erroneous number of doses administered over the time period of the study.”
We examined the data at Open Ottawa and discovered that there had been a significant underestimate, with the real number of dosages delivered exceeding 800,000. “We, the authors, unanimously desire to retract our work on the basis of erroneous incidence statistics in order to prevent deceiving either peers or the general public and press,” they said.
The University of Ottawa Heart Institute also apologized for any misinformation that may have been circulated as a result of the study.
We extend our apology to Ottawa Public Health (OPH) for our miscalculation of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines administered in Ottawa from June to July 2021. We thank OPH for their continuous support and their invaluable work in the community.
They wrote “A University of Ottawa Heart Institute preprint citing incorrect data vastly inflating the incidence of post-vaccine myocarditis has been withdrawn at the authors’ request. We are sorry this error led to misinformation about the incidence of post-vaccine myocarditis. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and have been proven effective against the disease. We invite anyone who has not yet received the shot to please get vaccinated.”
Based on the data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink, the CDC told Reuters that other studies had found “no significant association between myocarditis/pericarditis and mRNA vaccines” across all age groups, though they did warn about “an association between mRNA vaccines and myocarditis/pericarditis in younger individuals,” particularly among young males.
However, preliminary research on the incidence of myocarditis in young males revealed that COVID-19 causes myocarditis six times more. To this end, the CDC continues to emphasize the necessity of obtaining the vaccination, claiming that any potential dangers are well exceeded by the benefits.
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