On 10 January 2023, famed English guitarist Jeff Beck tragically died. Within a few nanoseconds, anti-vaxxers predictably jumped onto his untimely death by blaming the COVID-19 vaccines. This is part of a pattern that seems to be in the anti-vax guidebook — someone famous dies, blame the COVID-19 vaccine.
Just a couple of weeks ago, American footballer Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field, and it was immediately blamed on one of the COVID-19 vaccines. Someone on Facebook commented after seeing the collapse while watching the game that anti-vaxxers would jump into the fray. Of course, they did.
Because I am tired of these anti-vaccine lies and disinformation campaigns, I have to state the obvious — Jeff Beck did not die due to the COVID-19 vaccine. Not even close. Jeff Beck was a great musician, and we should be celebrating that, not spending time debunking anti-vaccine lies.
Jeff Beck died of bacterial meningitis
What is bacterial meningitis? Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by several different bacteria including:
- Streptococcus pneumoniae
- Group B Streptococcus
- Neisseria meningitidis
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Listeria monocytogenes
- Escherichia coli
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes tuberculosis or TB, is a less common cause of bacterial meningitis (TB meningitis).
There are a lot of risk factors for contracting bacterial meningitis, including age, traveling, and certain medical conditions. The most common forms of bacterial meningitis are spread by close contact or through sneezing and coughing. People in close contact with others, like a college dormitory or traveling in a jet, can spread the disease.
The first symptoms of bacterial meningitis are similar to many other diseases like the flu, so some people ignore it until the bacteria invades the nervous system. Without quick action, the prognosis of the disease can be very bad, including death. This disease can appear suddenly and kill quickly.
There are vaccines for many of the bacteria that cause bacterial meningitis. There is the meningococcal vaccine for N. meningitidis. Pneumococcal vaccines can help protect against S. pneumonia. Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) vaccines help protect against Hib. The Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine helps protect against tuberculosis disease, but it is not used widely in developed countries.
In other words, vaccines can prevent bacterial meningitis and save lives. Isn’t that amazing?
Quit blaming the COVID-19 vaccines
So, how do we know that Jeff Beck died from bacterial meningitis? Because his family said so. They made no reference to COVID-19 vaccines. Furthermore, because the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any bacteria or viruses, they cannot cause either bacterial or viral meningitis, a disease similar to the bacterial version except it is caused by a list of different viruses.
COVID-19 is also not linked to meningitis in any form. Anti-vaxxers believe that whatever COVID-19 does to the body, so does the vaccine, despite the utter lack of evidence supporting those claims.
Furthermore, the anti-vaccine zealots have zero (and I mean literally zero) evidence supporting the claim that COVID-19 had anything to do with the tragic death of Jeff Beck. None. Nada. Nichts.
Now, I have no clue if Beck had received either the meningococcal or pneumococcal vaccines, which might have prevented his death. If there’s any lesson to be learned, I would say it would be to run down to your doctor’s office and get both of those vaccines.
Nevertheless, anti-vaxxers love to make assertions and claims without evidence. They repeat them over and over, like the Big Lie, a favorite tactic of the anti-vaxxers. But it passes around over and over until some people believe it’s the truth.
Anti-vaxxers flood social media with false claims that the vaccine caused the death of any celebrity (or a football player who goes into cardiac arrest during a game). They even claimed that Queen Elizabeth died of the COVID-19 vaccine.
I hate to be so obvious, but people die suddenly all the time. From old age. From heart attacks. From traffic accidents. From suicide. From cancer. And they’ve been dying of these same diseases for thousands and millions of years before COVID-19 vaccines ever existed. It is patently absurd to think that every single sudden death that happens on this planet is somehow related to the COVID-19 vaccines.
The anti-vaccine disinformation squad of Joe Mercola and Robert F Kennedy Jr tries to sell the claim that the COVID-19 vaccines are causing cancer and killing people, despite the utter lack of evidence. They want to do anything they can to discredit the COVID-19 vaccines, including inventing causality even when it doesn’t exist.
I can’t believe I have to waste time debunking this claim. But here we are, in an era when anti-vaxxers can make any lie, and we have to spend our time correcting it.
Of course, someone will comment that I’m just part of the Big Pharma conspiracy to suppress the truth about the vaccines. There’s no winning with these people. And there are no facts that will impress them.
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