Coroner finds ‘no connection’ between Covid vaccine and boy’s death

Coroner finds 'no connection' between Covid vaccine and boy's death

Medical evidence shows “no connection” between the Covid vaccination administered to a 14-year-old boy and his death 24 days later, a coroner has found.

Patrick O’Connor, coroner for the district of Mayo, returned an open verdict after a three-day inquest into the death of Joseph McGinty in September 2021.

Pfizer provided evidence to the inquest after becoming aware through media reports in November 2022 that it would include consideration of the vaccination.

Mr O’Connor said the “medical and scientific evidence presented to me during the course of this inquest, and the enquiries made by me, did not establish that there was any link whatsoever to the administration of the Covid vaccine”.

There was also no evidence that the boy had contracted Covid or died with it.

Mr O’Connor found that the medical cause of death was “profound adrenal pathology consistent with Addison’s disease”.

The boy was “regretfully” not diagnosed with the disease — which is “extremely rare in Ireland and the United Kingdom” — prior to his death, despite being admitted to hospital and discharged twice in the weeks beforehand, the coroner said.

Mr McGinty had been brought into Mayo University Hospital on 1 September 2021 and discharged the next day. He was admitted again on 8 September 2021 and discharged later the same day.

“The medical staff in Mayo University Hospital did what they thought was best in the circumstances for Joseph McGinty on the occasions of his visits there,” the coroner found.

“However, in hindsight it may have been appropriate and better not to have discharged Joseph from the hospital on the 8th of September so that further tests, examinations and records could be obtained to get to the root of his deteriorating medical condition.”

The coroner said he did not consider a narrative verdict to be appropriate and that there was insufficient evidence to record any verdict other than an open verdict.

He issued three general recommendations surrounding the resourcing of the paediatric department at Mayo University Hospital and making bereavement officers available to family members after deaths.

The McGinty family was represented in the inquest by Jarlath Bourke of Lavelle Bourke Solicitors, who instructed Michael O’Connor SC and Rita Kilroy BL.

Mayo University Hospital, the HSE, staff and clinicians were represented by Padraig Brennan of RDJ, who instructed Eoin McCullough SC.

Pfizer was represented by Roddy Bourke and Daniel Lucy of McCann FitzGerald, who instructed David Boughton BL.

The court presenters of An Garda Síochána, as agents for the coroner, were represented by Inspector Maria Hayes and Sergeant Paul Connolly.

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