Sudden Adult Death Syndrome SADS meme depicting two police fish from spongebob squarepants.

Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) COVID-19 Vaccine Conspiracy

Part of a series on Conspiracy Theories. [View Related Entries]

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!

You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.


Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS), also known as Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, is a term for the sudden, unexpected death of adults by cardiac arrest, often used when an obvious cause of death cannot be found post-mortem. SADS was first documented in 1977, however, in June 2022, a conspiracy theory spread online claiming a purported rise in SADS in young people was linked to the COVID-19 vaccine. The conspiracy continued to spread in 2022, largely promoted by those in the anti-vaccination movement, particularly with coronavirus vaccines.


SADS was first documented in 1977 in relation to southeast Asian Hmong refugees in Canada and the United States.[1] A study on SADS was published to PubMED[2][3] in May 2005, and another was published in May 2007. There have been numerous deaths from SADS reported throughout the 2000s and beyond, including a 21-year-old U.K. woman in 2013[4] and singer Emma Panas in February 2021.[5]

COVID-19 Vaccine Conspiracy

Around November 2021, conspiracy theorists began suggesting that a rise in "sudden deaths" in young people was supposedly linked to people who take the COVID-19 vaccine. For example, on November 15th, Elijah Schaffer tweeted, "Is this normal?" with a screenshot showing news stories about people suddenly dying, gaining over 4,900 likes in seven months (shown below).


The conspiracy continued to spread in the following days as it was picked up by various websites. For example, on November 19th, 2021,[6] published an unsourced article suggesting that a purported rise in SADS may be connected to the COVID-19 vaccine, sharing a number of now-deleted tweets about a supposed rise in SADS in the piece. On November 20th, 2021, USA Magazine Studios[7] published the same article, however, there are no peer-reviewed studies to support this theory as of June 2022.

On May 30th, 2022, a 31-year-old woman was reported dead by SADS,[8] increasing discussion about the conspiracy theory in the following weeks. The New Zealand Herald's[9] article about the death features an interview with cardiologist and researcher Dr. Elizabeth Paratz, who said Melbourne's Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute is starting the first registry to track SADS deaths in the country, also saying there are around 750 deaths per year from SADS in New Zealand.

In early June 2022, additional discussions online began to spread regarding the conspiracy theory attempting to link SADS to coronavirus vaccines. On June 4th, Twitter[10] user @BethanyCherisse tweeted, "How many unvaccinated people have died from 'Sudden Adult Death Syndrome [SADS]'? Asking for a friend," gaining over 900 likes in four days.

On June 5th, Twitter[11] user @thedeanpodcast posted, "I'm not hearing many reports of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome occurring among the UNVACCINATED," gaining over 15,000 likes in three days (shown below, left). On the same day, Twitter[12] user @DowdEdward shared the unsourced USA Magazine Studio article, gaining over 2,600 likes in three days. On June 6th, Twitter[13] user @GonzaloLira1968 tweeted, "Friendly reminder: Sudden Adult Death Syndrome did not exist before December 2020. Guess what else didn't exist before December 2020," gaining over 5,700 likes and 1,700 retweets in two days (shown below, right).

The Dean Podcast @thedeanpodcast I'm not hearing many reports of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome occurring among the UNVACCINATED. 8:49 AM - Jun 5, 2022. Twitter Web App 3,850 Retweets 198 Quote Tweets 15.8K Likes Gonzalo Lira @Gonzalo Lira1968 Friendly reminder: Sudden Adult Death Syndrome did not exist before December 2020. Guess what else didn't exist before December 2020. 1:34 PM - Jun 6, 2022. Twitter Web App 1,788 Retweets 82 Quote Tweets 5,717 Likes

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos

There are no videos currently available.

Recent Images 5 total

Top Comments

+ Add a Comment

Comments (26)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Yo Yo! You must login or signup first!