Did Marathon Runners Collapse From COVID-19 Vaccination?

Did 5 athletes at the Taipei Marathon collapse due to their COVID-19 vaccination?

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : Marathon Runners Drop Like Flies From COVID-19 Vaccination!

A YouTuber called Tony Lin has gone viral with his video claiming that five athletes at the Taipei Marathon dropped like flies from their COVID-19 vaccinations!

Here is a partial transcript of what he said in his video :

Hi, this is Tony Lin. Welcome to my video.

Can you imagine, in a marathon competition, runners drop like flies. One by one fall into the ground, their hearts stopped beating and they gradually lost consciousness, and they were rushed to the hospital.

This is exactly what happened in an international marathon competition held in Taiwan.

Coincidentally, this is the first ever marathon competition in Taiwan that require the runners to show their vaccination records to join this marathon competition.

He then reads out portions of a news report by a website called Taiwan English News, relevant excerpts which I am reposting here for your convenience :

Five athletes collapsed during the Taipei Marathon event this morning, and were rushed to hospital, at least three having lost vital signs, requiring Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

By 10:30 am, a total of five people had collapsed unconscious in the course of the race. According to reports all five are now conscious and under observation in hospital.

For the first time in its history, the 2021 marathon, with the awkwardly-phrased theme “The Day we Reborn,” required participants to show record of COVID vaccination, or medical record showing proof of recovery from COVID-19, or negative PCR test/rapid antigen test certificate.


Truth : Marathon Runners Did NOT Collapse From COVID-19 Vaccination!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS by antivaxxers like Tony Lin, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : 2021 Taipei Marathon Is Not Only For Vaccinated Runners

Tony lied that the 2021 Taipei Marathon requires runners to show their vaccination records to join.

It’s even explained in the Taiwan English News article that 2021 Taipei Marathon participants are required to show one of these:

  • record of COVID-19 vaccination, OR
  • medical record as proof of recovery from COVID-19, OR
  • a negative PCR / RTK certificate

The official 2021 Taipei Marathon regulations stipulate that runners must bring one of the following proof:

  • COVID-19 vaccination record (must be vaccinated before December 5, 2021)
  • PCR test report with negative result after December 13, 2021
  • Proof of RTK self-test with negative result and a signed waiver form
  • Medical proof of recovery (from COVID-19)

In other words, UNVACCINATED people can also participate in the 2021 Taipei Marathon. They just have to prove that they recovered from COVID-19, or test negative on a PCR / RTK test.

Fact #2 : Vaccination Status Of Collapsed Runners Unknown

The vaccination status of the five collapsed marathon runners are unknown. They could be unvaccinated, as I pointed out above.

But Tony Lin suggested that they collapsed due to myocarditis from the COVID-19 vaccine, even though he does not know if they are even vaccinated. He naturally offered NO EVIDENCE to back up his claim.

Even if they were vaccinated, we do not know what COVID-19 vaccine they received. Tony Lin obviously does not know either.

Fact #3 : Cardiac Arrest Is Not Myocarditis

Tony Lin tries to link the cardiac arrest that the runners suffered from, to myocarditis. But they are completely different heart problems.

Cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction of the heart, that causes an irregular heartbeat or even stops the heart from pumping completely. Victims will immediately collapse unconscious, and may not breathe or have a pulse.

Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle, with victims complaining of chest pain, shortness of breath or feelings of a pounding / fast-beating heart.

Read more : Do mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Increase Heart Disease Risk?

Fact #4 : Runners Collapse At Every Marathon

There is a reason why marathons have medical staff on standby – runners collapse at every marathon event. Some have even died.

The marathon is not your run-of-mill running event. It is a long-distance foot race that stretches out to over 42 kilometres (26 miles)!

During any marathon race, heat from the sun can cause heat stroke, while changes in air temperature can trigger cardiac arrest in vulnerable people.

It is an incredibly strenuous event, even for trained athletes. So it is not uncommon to see runners collapse at marathon races, especially if they were not able to train much during the pandemic.

Fact #5 : Cardiac Arrest Deaths Lower Than Expected

A 2016 systematic medical review found that there was a risk of approximately 0.6 to 1.9 cardiac arrest deaths out of every 100,000 marathon participants.

Even though 5 people ended up suffering from cardiac arrest at the 2021 Taipei Marathon, they recovered after treatment. So the incidence rate of cardiac arrest deaths is actually much lower than expected.

Chien Ding-kuo (簡定國), deputy director at the Department of Emergency Medicine, MacKay Memorial Hospital, said that the high number of OHCA cases might be associated with low temperatures in the early morning as well as under-training.

Fact #6 : Much Higher Risk Of Myocarditis From COVID-19!

What Tony Lin does not point out is that the risk of getting myocarditis from a COVID-19 infection is MUCH HIGHER than the risk of getting myocarditis from a COVID-19 vaccine.

Using data from the new SAFECOVAC study, here is the extrapolated risk of myocarditis for people who were vaccinated three times (including booster dose) versus a COVID-19 infection.

Read more : Vaccine Myocarditis Risk Less Than 1 In Million!

Per Million
COVID-19 450 +300x +214x +167x
3x Pfizer 2.7 +1.8x +1.3x Baseline
3x AstraZeneca 2.1 +1.4x Baseline -0.2x
3x Sinovac 1.5 Baseline -0.3x -0.4x

It is very clear that the risk of myocarditis is GREATEST with a single COVID-19 infection, than it is with THREE doses of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Sinovac vaccines.

So please protect yourself against myocarditis, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19. Get vaccinated!


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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