CDC Report: Michigan Boy’s Death that Fueled Anti-Vax Rhetoric Died of Infection

On June 16, 2021, a 13-year-old Michigan boy was found dead three days after getting his second dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. He’d gone to sleep the night before complaining of flu-like symptoms and a slight stomachache, and never woke up.

Jacob Clynick’s sudden death sparked speculation that his death was caused by the vaccine, after preliminary autopsy reports revealed that the boy had myocarditis, and the autopsy report listed the cause of death as “myocarditis of unknown etiology.”

And then three days before Jacob’s funeral, the CDC acknowledged a likely association between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and a slight risk of heart problems for adolescents and young adults.

The CDC’s investigative report now shows that the primary cause of the teen’s death was sepsis due to a bacteria called Clostridium septicum. Infection likely originated in Jacob’s abdomen and quickly spread. The bacteria were “extremely abundant” in Jacob’s spleen, kidneys and liver, but some also were identified in his heart and lungs.

Dr. B. Keith English, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Human Development at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, explained:

“Clostridium septicum, for reasons we don’t understand, can get in your bloodstream and spread all around,” English said. “Even the name, septicum, comes from the word sepsis. It is a severe bloodstream Infection … and the body’s immune response is so bad, that there is sort of a circulatory collapse. “This is a terrible bacteria. If you get that in your system causing a systemic illness, there’s a high degree of fatality. … That’s the kind of thing that is usually fatal. … They have terrible inflammation throughout their body, it’s not just in the heart.”

But Jacob’s father is skeptical.

“I think it had to have something to do with the vaccine,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense that it wouldn’t.”

The medical examiner has not revised the cause of death on the autopsy.

E-mail correspondence between the CDC and the medical examiner from the state showed discussion about the findings of the CDC report, and three days before the ME signed off on his autopsy report as “myocarditis of unknown etiology,” a published journal article he co-authored hypothesized that the inflammation could have been caused by the vaccines.

The CDC reiterated in a letter to the editor of the publication:

“The report … unfortunately omitted many important findings provided by pathologic evaluations at the CDC that … identified a specific infectious cause of death for patient B. These omissions could lead incorrectly to the assumption that COVID-19 vaccines were directly responsible for the deaths of these two patients.”

“We discovered that some of the vaccines … did have some relatively rare side effects including myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, that could occur, particularly in young men, teenagers,” English said. “… We still don’t know for sure why that is. It was definitely associated with these mRNA vaccines, but at the same time, it was much less likely than inflammation of your heart if you got COVID.

Detroit Free Press