High Viral Loads: What Drives Fatal Cases of COVID-19 in Vaccinees? – An Autopsy Study

Klaus Hirschbühl et al.

The rate of SARS-CoV-2 infections in vaccinees has become a relevant serious issue. This study aimed to determine the causes of death, histological organ alteration, and viral spread in relation to demographic, clinical-pathological, viral variants, and vaccine types for deceased individuals with proven SARS-CoV-2 infection after vaccination who died between January and November 2021. Twenty-nine consecutively collected cases were analyzed and compared to 141 nonvaccinated control cases. Autopsies were performed on 16 partially and 13 fully vaccinated individuals. Most patients were elderly and suffered from several relevant comorbidities. Real-time RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) identified a significantly increased rate of generalized viral dissemination within organ systems in vaccinated cases versus nonvaccinated cases (45% vs. 16%, respectively; P = 0.008) mainly with Ct-values of higher than 25 in non-respiratory samples. However, vaccinated cases also showed high viral loads, reaching Ct-values below 10, especially in the upper airways and lungs. This was accompanied by high rates of pulmonal bacterial or mycotic superinfections and the occurrence of immunocompromising factors, such as malignancies, immunosuppressive drug intake, or decreased immunoglobulin levels. All these findings were particularly accentuated in partially vaccinated patients compared to fully vaccinated individuals. The virus dissemination observed in our case study may indicate that patients with an impaired immune system have a decreased ability to eliminate the virus. However, the potential role of antibody-dependent enhancement must also be ruled out in future studies. Fatal cases of COVID-19 in vaccinees were rare and often associated with severe comorbidities or other immunosuppressive conditions.

Latest articles

Swiss Policy Research … data from both Germany and Switzerland does show...
Kenji Yamamoto Recently, The Lancet published a study on the effectiveness of...
Kit Knightly Polio is on the front pages of British newspapers again...
Carey Gillam Glyphosate, a synthetic herbicide patented in 1974 by the Monsanto...
Suzanne Burdick A study published last week in Environment International showed 29...

Your donation helps us
stand up for health freedom!

Canada Health Alliance is volunteer run and 100% supported by the generous donations of those who share our concerns and value our work.

Stay up to date

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest health-related news and events delivered straight to your inbox.

Become a CHA member

Become an active value-added member and trusted provider of medical and healthcare information and education by joining the CHA Membership Program.

Your donation helps us stand up for health freedom!

Canada Health Alliance is volunteer run and 100% supported by the generous donations of those who share our concerns and value our work.