Deaths associated with newly launched SARS-CoV-2 vaccination (Comirnaty®)

Leg Med (Tokyo). 2021 Jul:51:101895. doi: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2021.101895. Epub 2021 Apr 17.


Since 27th December 2020, a mRNA vaccine from BioNTech / Pfizer (Comirnaty®) has been used across Germany. As of 12th March 2021, 286 fatalities of vaccinated German individuals were registered at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute with time intervals after vaccination between one hour to 40 days. From our catchment area in northern Germany, we have so far become aware of 22 deaths in connection with vaccination in a 5 week period (range: 0-28 days after vaccination). Three death cases after vaccination with Comirnaty®, which were autopsied at the Institute of Legal Medicine Hamburg, are presented in more detail. All three deceased had severe cardiovascular diseases, among other comorbidities, and died in the context of these pre-existing conditions, while one case developed a COVID-19 pneumonia as cause of death. Taking into account the results of the postmortem examination a causal relation between the vaccination and the death was not established in any case. If there are indications of an allergic reaction, histological and postmortem laboratory examinations should be performed subsequent to the autopsy (tryptase, total IgE, CRP, interleukin-6, complement activity C3/C5).

Keywords: Autopsy; COVID-19 vaccine; Comirnaty®; SARS-CoV-2; Vaccination.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autopsy
  • COVID-19 Vaccines*
  • Cause of Death
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multimorbidity*
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • mRNA Vaccines


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Synthetic