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Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero April 25, 2023

No, brain aneurysms are not a ‘common’ side effect of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines

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  • There is no evidence that the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines cause brain aneurysms.

  • Risk factors for brain aneurysms include certain inherited disorders, untreated high blood pressure, cigarette smoking and drug abuse.

Corinne Foxx, daughter of Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx, said April 12 that her father had suffered a "medical complication" and was recovering.

Absent additional details, the internet did what it often does: fill factual gaps with unsubstantiated rumor, including that Foxx’s condition was linked to his vaccination status.

"Brain aneurysms as a serious and common COVID-19 mRNA vaccine injury in young people," a slide in an April 23 Instagram post post read. "14 tragic cases including actor Jamie Foxx. Early reports suggest Jamie Foxx had a brain aneurysm & bleed. He was COVID-19 vaccinated."

The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Media Take Out reported, citing an unnamed source, that Foxx, 55, suffered a "brain bleed." But no one close to Foxx has publicly confirmed whether the actor had an aneurysm (a ruptured aneurysm is sometimes called brain bleed).

We also don’t know whether Foxx is vaccinated against COVID-19. A movie he was working on in 2021 temporarily shut down production after several cast members contracted COVID-19 even though the full cast was vaccinated, according to the Daily Mail.

But Foxx had not yet joined the cast for filming at the time of the outbreak. We found no additional information in news stories or social media posts about his vaccination status.

Either way, the post is wrong to suggest that aneurysms are linked to mRNA vaccines.

On April 23, "Entertainment Tonight" reported that Foxx’s friend, television personality Nick Cannon, said Foxx was awake and alert. Cannon said nothing about vaccines in the story.

Featured Fact-check

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines a cerebral aneurysm or a brain aneurysm as "a weak or thin spot on an artery in the brain that balloons or bulges out and fills with blood," which can put pressure on the nerves or brain tissue. 

If an aneurysm bursts or ruptures, it would hemorrhage, spilling blood into surrounding tissue. The institute said a ruptured aneurysm can cause serious health problems such as a hemorrhagic stroke, brain damage, coma and death.

Risk factors for developing an aneurysm include inherited disorders, untreated high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, drug abuse, head trauma, brain tumor and infection in the arterial wall. People’s risk of developing brain aneurysms increases after age 40.

"There is no good evidence that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines cause brain aneurysms," John Swartzberg, clinical professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, told PolitiFact. "The claims to the contrary are not based upon any sound science or reasoning."

The CDC does not list brain aneurysms as a common side effect after COVID-19 vaccination in any age group. 

We found a March 2022 study that reported the cases of three women in Japan who had an intracranial aneurysm rupture within three days of getting an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. But the study did not conclude that vaccines were the cause and the authors said the advantages of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh any risks.

The text in this Instagram post appears to have come from an April 21 Substack article by William Makis, a Canadian physician who has spread misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.  

We rate this claim False.

Our Sources

Instagram post, April 23, 2023

Media Take Out, EXCLUSIVE Update On Jamie Foxx Condition … Not A Stroke Or An Aneurysm … A ‘Brain Bleed’, April 16, 2023, EXCLUSIVE: Lights, camera, shutdown! Action film starring Jamie Foxx and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is at a standstill after the Game of Thrones star and three others test positive for Covid-19 despite being FULLY vaccinated, July 26, 2021

Entertainment Tonight, Nick Cannon Gives Update on Jamie Foxx Amid Hospitalization (Exclusive), April 23, 2023

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Cerebral Aneurysms, accessed April 24, 2023

National Health Service UK, Brain aneurysm causes, accessed April 25, 2023 

US CDC, Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine, accessed April 24, 2023

Email interview, John Swartzberg, clinical professor emeritus at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, April 24, 2023

William Makis, Brain Aneurysms as a serious and common COVID-19 mRNA vaccine injury in young people - Part 2 (14 cases including actor Jamie Foxx), April 21, 2023

Intracranial aneurysm rupture within three days after receiving mRNA anti-COVID-19 vaccination: Three case reports, March 31, 2022

Reuters, Fact Check-No evidence that 80 Canadian doctors died from COVID vaccinations, Dec. 30, 2022

Australian Associated Press, Doctor deaths claim an unproven conspiracy, Nov. 25, 2022

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No, brain aneurysms are not a ‘common’ side effect of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines

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