COVID-19 vaccine-myocarditis paper to be permanently removed: Elsevier

A paper claiming that cases of myocarditis spiked after teenagers began receiving COVID-19 vaccines that earned a “temporary removal” earlier this month will be permanently removed, according to a publisher at Elsevier.

As we reported last week, the article, “A Report on Myocarditis Adverse Events in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in Association with COVID-19 Injectable Biological Products,” was published in Current Problems in Cardiology on October 1.

Sometime between then and October 17, the article was stamped “TEMPORARY REMOVAL” without explanation other than Elsevier’s boilerplate notice in such cases:

The Publisher regrets that this article has been temporarily removed. A replacement will appear as soon as possible in which the reason for the removal of the article will be specified, or the article will be reinstated.

The full Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal can be found at

In an email to co-author Peter McCullough, Elsevier publisher Diana Goetz said that “the journal is not willing to publish the paper.” Here’s the entire email:

Goetz did not respond to requests for comment from Retraction Watch about whether a retraction notice explaining the move would appear. Elsevier’s policy on such matters has changed slightly over the years, but the central lack of transparency on their “withdrawals” has been the subject of our coverage since 2013.

Jessica Rose, the other author of the paper, told Retraction Watch:

We are very motivated to get the information in our paper to the public: pediatricians, parents and policy-makers alike. This is why we decided to publish in the first place. It is extremely frustrating for us to face such censorship when professionals are in need of scientific data and discourse on the subject of myocarditis in children in these very strange times.

Rose’s affiliation on the removed version of the paper is the Institute of Pure and Applied Knowledge’s Public Health Policy Initiative, and McCullough’s is the Truth for Health Foundation in Tucson.

As we noted in our previous post, IPAK is

a group that has been critical of vaccines and of the response to COVID-19 and has funded one study that was retracted earlier this year

Last month, Baylor Scott & White obtained a restraining order against McCullough — whom Medscape says “has promoted the use of therapies seen as unproven for the treatment of COVID-19 and has questioned the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines” — for continuing to refer to an affiliation with the health care institution despite a separation agreement. “Since the Baylor suit, the Texas A&M College of Medicine, and the Texas Christian University (TCU) and University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) School of Medicine have both removed McCullough from their faculties,” Medscape reported at the time.

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42 thoughts on “COVID-19 vaccine-myocarditis paper to be permanently removed: Elsevier”

  1. It’s a shame this phenomena got caught up in bad science. Post vaccination myocarditis requires better scrutiny.

      1. All information is relevant and part of our reality, thus science. We base conclusions on the best available evidence with respecting the limitations of the information at hand.
        A large poportion of people (like you here stewert) are desperately defending the obstruction and rejection of information without and substantive arguments (overcompensating). It’s hindering the proces of truthfinding.

        Post vaccination myocardits is lethal and causally related; here just one example. Bad science as well?

        Im deeply curious what you can fathom up in respons…

        1. Sjored, the article you linked to describes a single case of a man dying from a cardiac event 6 days after getting the shot. That is not very compelling evidence of a causal link between vaccination and lethal myocarditis. Is it possible that this man’s death was related to the shot? Maybe. But billions of people have received a Covid vaccine shot—some of them will happen to die within a week of getting the shot, just as some of them will happen to die within a week of watching the new Spiderman movie. Isolated cases of two events happening within a week of each other don’t establish a causal pattern.

          1. Seriously? Maby you should read the article, they say so literally (causality).
            E.a. you probaly aren’t aware of the e.a. many cases of mycarditis in children.
            For your information im a psychologist who perfectly well understands causality, and seeing from your last sentence, you unfortunatly don’t. Smoking doesn’t give 100% cancer for instance.

          2. Sjored, you say “Maby [sic] you should read the article, they say so literally (causality).” But merely using the word “causality” is not sufficient to establish a pattern of causality. And quoting a single word from an article is not the same as reading the article. So let’s look at what the article actually says in support of the causality claim:

            “Given that the myocarditis showed a temporal relationship to vaccine administration and there was no other explanation for the sudden cardiac death, on July 26, 2021, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged that myocarditis and vaccination were ‘possibly related’ in this case.”

            So there you have it: Someone’s death was “POSSIBLY RELATED” to the vaccination because of the “TEMPORAL RELATIONSHIP” between the myocarditis and the vaccination (meaning they happened in the same week) and because there was no particular explanation for the death other than the myocarditis. That’s extremely weak evidence for a pattern of causality (especially since the sample size was 1).

            You also say “im [sic] a psychologist who perfectly well understands causality, and seeing from your last sentence, you unfortunatly [sic] don’t.” It’s not clear what you mean by that, since my “last sentence” was uncontroversially true: “Isolated cases of two events happening within a week of each other don’t establish a causal pattern.” Indeed, with hundreds of millions of people getting vaccinated every week and millions of people dying every week for various reasons, obviously some people will happen to get vaccinated and die in the same week. As a psychologist, surely you understand that doesn’t demonstrate a causal relationship.

      2. Even the Alberta summary you linked shows 812 myocarditis/pericarditis cases after 52 million doses in Canada. Assuming that 25% of those doses were “second doses”, that means 812 cases for 39 million recipients or a rate of 20 per million. In Alberta almost all of the incidents were among males (91.67%). If we assume a 50/50 M/F split among recipients (no reason not to; in fact, women probably predominate) that suggests a rate among males of almost 40 per million. That’s orders of magnitude higher than the risk of Covid to young males without comorbidities.

        1. “that suggests a rate among males of almost 40 per million. That’s orders of magnitude higher than the risk of Covid to young males without comorbidities.”

          Citation needed!

          It appears your “orders of magnitude higher” solely refers to death.

        2. “That’s orders of magnitude higher than the risk of Covid to young males without comorbidities.”

          Why is your risk in your risk-benefit analysis from the virus solely limited to death, whereas when you perform that same analysis for the vaccine, you’re also including myocarditis? Why did you not include myocarditis risk from the virus as well…?

          My suspicion is that your “analysis” is disingenuous, at best, and, at worst, is a blatant attempt to force a result.

  2. So Retraction Watch is in the business of personal smear now? The paper stands on its content – I don’t care who funded it. Nor should Retraction Watch if it means to be taken seriously.

    1. A paper was retracted. Retraction Watch, a news site that covers retractions, reported the retraction.
      Don’t shoot the messenger.

  3. Elsevier should not be able to reject a publication of this magnitude after it has passed peer review without -clearly- conveying their reasoning. With their weight thrown against this future publishers will think twice before publishing this work. This is not the time to hinder the scientific method.

    1. Elsevier should not be able to reject a publication of this magnitude

      How do you mean, magnitude? The paper wasn’t long – only about 5200 words (not counting references).

      1. Really, Smut Clyde? — you cannot intuit that the word, “magnitude” here meant “importance”? Okay, to have stated it more clearly, Lonny might have phrased it, “… a paper whose importance is of this magnitude.”

        I seriously do not believe that Smut Clyde is so naive as to think that “magnitude” referred to the size of the word count.

      2. I could not believe that Lonny Fulton thought that the paper was of any importance. Mendacious antivax tirades are hardly unique.

        1. Reducing a paper to a derogatory mediatically weaponized term while providing no direct critique to data being presented is a unscientific red flag. Ignore this ridiculous gatekeeping troll.

          1. Well said. This is a shining example of the problem. Name calling and attack instead of critical analysis and open discussion is hindering our understanding of these “controversial” issues. At the same time, it’s breeding even greater mistrust among those who are currently mistrustful of both the government and science. It does no one any favours.

          2. “a derogatory mediatically weaponized term”

            Someone wrote these words, so I suppose they must mean something.

      3. “Magnitude” = “Length”? That reminds me of my students who give me a long and yet vapid paper, and claim “it deserves an “A” since it’s so long”.

  4. Loony writes, “Elsevier should not be able to reject a publication of this magnitude”.

    Antivax, conspiracy theorist cranks Rose/McCullough write, “As a general rule, the ICU cardiac injury described in COVID-19 illness is subclinical and largely reflected by a minor elevation of cardiac troponin, whereas CIRM [COVID-19-Injection-Related Myocarditis] is characterized by a clinical syndrome often warranting hospitalization, dramatic ECG changes, and very large elevations of cardiac troponin that are sustained over time.”

    Pediatric cardiologist Dr. Frank Han, who first became aware of and became interested in the incursion of pseudoscience into medicine while completing his pediatric residency at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and saw it explode during the COVID pandemic, writes the total opposite, “According to the same study, myocarditis after infection is 6 times more likely than after vaccination. According to this 2nd article, which surveyed side effects after COVID infection versus COVID vaccination (albeit in an older age group), the incidence of all the side effects that mattered were worse in the patients who were infected with the genuine virus than vaccination. It was also acknowledged that the vaccination poses an increased risk above baseline of myocarditis. Again – COVID illness myocarditis is a bigger bad actor than COVID vaccine myocarditis.”

  5. You have lost the argument Daniel if you use emotive terms to describe the authors. They propose peer-reviewed data and conclusions so who are you to use name calling to stand in the way of scientific discussion?

    Also at first it looked like the authors had retracted the article. On reading down, it looks like the publisher did – with no explanation to date. Call me paranoid, conspiracy theorist, or crank but it is starting to look like censorship rather than prudence or even debate!

  6. Suppression of information is a sure sign that debates cannot be won on the truth so suppression and smear are the tools. History repeats itself

    1. History repeats itself

      Which particular part of history is repeating here? The 1665/6 plague? The Sicilian Vespers? The Defenestration of Prague? The 532 Nika Riots? I need specificity!

  7. Now republished in the IPAK house journal. H/t “Anolis Omiltemanus” on Pubpeer:

    “The paper has been republished in Volume 3 of Science, Public Health Policy & the Law:

    Jessica Rose, 2021. Critical appraisal of VAERS Pharmacovigilance: Is the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) a functioning pharmacovigilance system? Sci, Publ Health Pol & Law 3:100-129 (Independently Peer-Reviewed (Single-Blind, 2 reviewers)

    It is not clear what changes were made relative to the paper in Current Problems in Cardiology.”

  8. If an author with lots of peer reviewed articles can have his peer-revied article withdrawn without explanation, what is the value of the peer-review process? Is it make believe?

    1. In predatory or nepotistic journals, peer review is make-believe. Peer review is useful, and the appearance of peer review is a valuable marketing tool, especially when there is none. Finally, remember that the unit of analysis is always the actual study. Great researchers can produce surprisingly shoddy work at times. Linus Pauling and vitamin C, Luc Montagnier and homeopathy, for example.

      1. It seems that lots of the questionable publications by these ‘great men’ isn’t really research and is their ‘side hustle’ (Levitt) or is related to the further use of their main research (such as Mullis).
        On the other hand, a great researcher (with well-trained students, a well-equipped lab, too much funding and some good editing) can polish mediocre results into something that can be published. And maybe keep from making problematic conclusions that will be covered in the media and get flagged.

      2. The point is: It is clear that the article was not removed based on the peer-review process. It was removed based on what?

          1. Then why wouldn’t Elsevir say so?

            Seriously, the big issue here is total lack of transparency. The scientific process is supposed to be open.

          1. Really? can you provide example?
            1. Emails show Elsevir was interested in paper.
            2. Peer reviewed, approved.
            3. Elsevir accepts all publishing fees for final processing (e.g. paying for color figures).
            4. Elsevir announces “temporary” stop to publishing. No explanation.
            5. Elsever announces “permanent” stop to publishing. No explanation.

            Can you give such an example? Saying “it happens all the time” on anonymous comment area does not count for much.

          2. really? Not being difficult but can you give example (emails show Elsevir wanted paper, passes peer review, Elsevir accepts all publishing fees, Elsevir then permanently rejects w/ no reason?

  9. This is interesting: the Elsevier sciencedirect URL finally updated the paper from “Temporary Removal” to “Withdrawn” [0] … but also reverted Peter McCullough’s affiliation back to A&M Baylor Campus.

    Separately, Peter McCullough has been stating in interviews that he plans a “full scale lawsuit” against Elsevier for “breach of contract” [1]. I wonder if the reversal back to Baylor (McCullough’s affiliation claimed at the time of the pre-proof) is Elsevier engaging in CYA.


    1. Separately, Peter McCullough has been stating in interviews that he plans a “full scale lawsuit” against Elsevier for “breach of contract”

      That was two weeks ago. If McCullough were really spending his time in consultation with lawyers, he wouldn’t have so much time to spend as a podcast blowhard.

      1. Well he heared that he was for 2 weeks 16 hours a day consulting with his lawyers, barely sleeping and took 2 hours of to make the podcast. It’s amazing, but this guy pulled it of.

    2. “full scale lawsuit”

      I am belatedly wondering what the alternative might be. Meanwhile, McCullough is still at the stage of a “Reduced 1:12-scale maquette of a lawsuit”.

      1. Please go back to Twitter, or post comments that address the issue of academic and scientific validity and/or possible censorship.

  10. This is proof that we are living in Lysenko times.

    Published 28 April 2022: The main finding of this study concerns with increases of over 25% in both the number of CA calls and ACS calls of people in the 16–39 age group during the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Israel (January–May, 2021), compared with the same period of time in prior years (2019 and 2020), as shown in Table 1. Moreover, there is a robust and statistically significant association between the weekly CA and ACS call counts, and the rates of 1st and 2nd vaccine doses administered to this age group.

    (*) There is criticism to an article that argues that there was an increases in both the number of Cardiac Arrest calls and Acute coronary syndrome calls during the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

    05 May 2022 Editor’s Note: Readers are alerted that the conclusions of this article are subject to criticisms that are being considered by the Editors. A further editorial response will follow once all parties have been given an opportunity to respond in full.

    (*) There is no criticism related to the Russia Ukraine war.

    Springer Nature condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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