No deaths in Utah caused by COVID-19 vaccine, state’s medical examiner verifies

Medical examiner investigated, and reports no link between fatalities and vaccinations.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) People line up for their COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, March 18, 2021, as the Utah Film Studios in Park City loans its space to the Summit County Health Department as a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination station.

There have been no deaths in Utah because of COVID-19 vaccines, which are “safe and effective,” according to the Utah Department of Health, which stressed, “This is how we will end this pandemic.”

A statement released by the state’s Office of the Medical Examiner, which is a branch of UDOH, did not include specifics on any allegations that individuals died as a result of being vaccinated. Utah law requires that details of investigations “must be kept confidential unless the family of the decedent provides permission for the OME to discuss the findings publicly,” according to the statement.

However, the medical examiner’s office stated definitively that it has “determined there have been no deaths caused by the COVID-19 vaccines to date in Utah.” Further, it is “committed to investigating any deaths that fall under its jurisdiction where decedents had recently received the COVID-19 vaccine.”

The Salt Lake Tribune reported on March 9 that the state at that point had investigated four deaths that occurred after Utahns received shots, and had found no link between the fatalities and vaccinations. In an obituary published a week earlier, the family of a 39-year-old Ogden woman had attributed her death to “apparent complications due to the 2nd COVID-19 vaccination,” and some news outlets reported interviews with a family member who blamed the vaccine.

The medical examiner’s office called on “members of the media to wait for all the facts to be known prior to reporting information that could lead to undue diminished confidence in these life-saving vaccines.”

Five Utahns are reported to have died some time after receiving the vaccine, according to a database run by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health experts warn that reports entered into that database, by themselves, do not prove the vaccine caused the death.

”We will continue to investigate reports of serious side effects,” the medical examiner’s statement said. “Public confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine is critical, and providing absolute transparency on the vaccine’s side effects is our goal.”