Natalie Boyce: Victoria coroner investigates if woman’s death is linked to Moderna Covid vaccine

A Victorian coroner is investigating whether a young woman’s death from heart inflammation after receiving her third Covid-19 jab was caused by the Moderna vaccine.

Moderna’s lawyers appeared before the Coroners Court in Melbourne on Wednesday for a hearing into the death of 21-year-old Natalie Boyce.

The court was told she received her third dose of Covid vaccine on February 18, 2022, which was the Moderna mRNA vaccine.

About a week later, she went to see a GP after vomiting for five days, suffering aching pain and at one point fainting.

In the following weeks, Ms Boyce went to hospital and a medical centre as her symptoms of vomiting, pain and fainting persisted.

On March 5, she went to Mulgrave Private Hospital, after suffering chest pain and shortness of breath, and was transferred to The Alfred where she was diagnosed with fulminant myocarditis.

Natalie Boyce died in March, 2022. A coroner is investigating whether her death was linked to the Moderna Covid vaccine

The 21-year-old’s condition deteriorated after she underwent surgery to remove a clot, then during an MRI she suffered a heart attack.

She could not be revived and was declared dead on March 27.

A forensic pathologist performed a post-mortem on Ms Boyce, finding she died from acute myocarditis infarction.

The autopsy found ‘given the close proximity in time due to vaccine, a vaccine-related myocarditis cannot be excluded’.

But the report also said this could not be diagnosed post-mortem.

In February this year, Moderna engaged its own cardiologist to provide an expert opinion to the court.

Assisting counsel Jessika Syrjanen told the court that Moderna’s cardiologist’s report differed on Ms Boyce’s cause of death and medical management in the lead-up, but she did not detail how.

‘Moderna submitted in a letter to the court that ‘the conclusion from the autopsy report should be accepted: that a definitive cause for Ms Boyce’s myocarditis cannot be identified’,’ she told the court.

‘I seek clarification from Moderna’s legal representatives today as to Moderna’s current position and whether that has changed.’

Moderna’s lawyer Jesse Rudd said he could not give instant clarification on the company’s position.

‘That’s the first I’ve heard of it,’ he replied, asking for time to seek advice.

All parties were given eight weeks to read through Moderna’s report and consider their positions.

The case will return on July 17 for mention before Coroner Catherine Fitzgerald.

Ms Boyce’s mother Deborah Hamilton shared her heartbreak at a Senate committee hearing into a bill looking to protect unvaccinated workers last May.

She said the strict rules in Victoria around Covid meant she could not be with her daughter in hospital when she needed her the most.

‘What was the point of being vaccinated when I was still banned from supporting my child in hospital?’ Ms Hamilton said. 

‘I have text messages still in my phone from her pleading for me to come and be with her … this still haunts me today and probably will for the rest of my life.’