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VERIFY: Did Sonoma County rule that the COVID vaccine caused the death of a 15-year-old boy?

There is misinformation circulating online about the death of a Sonoma boy and the death's correlation to the COVID-19 vaccine.

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. — A post of a Sonoma County coroner report is circulating online claiming that a 15-year-old Sonoma boy died of a heart attack after getting the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.


Did Sonoma county rule that the COVID vaccine caused the death of a 15-year-old boy?


ABC10 went straight to the source for today's Verify. Paul Gullixson is the communications manager for Sonoma County and spokesperson for the coroner’s office and Sonoma County's public health department.

“Our county is certainly aware of this case. And this is a tragic, and heartbreaking a death of a young man in our community,” Gullixson said.

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Gullixson said the case was thoroughly investigated by the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He said the teen did receive the second dose of the vaccine and that it was only recorded by the pathologist due to the timing.

“This forensic pathologist felt the need to note the timing given that... the second dose did occur within 48 hours of the young man's death,” Gullixson said.

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Gullixson said the cause of death is not unknown; it was a heart attack, he said, but the reason for that heart attack is unknown.

“They've ruled the cause of death was determined to be stress cardiomyopathy with perivascular coronary artery inflammation,” Gullixson said.

In response to the post circulating on social media, the family of the boy told the local Sonoma area newspaper The Press Democrat, “We feel strongly that everyone should have their children vaccinated.”


This is false.

We can verify that Sonoma County did not rule the COVID-19 vaccine as the cause of death of a 15-year-old boy.

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

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