No, there are no more deaths due to the vaccine against covid-19 than for any other

The website Mediterráneo digital has published an article in which it is claimed that “more people have already died from vaccines in three months than in the last 10 years”. To support these statements, they have cited data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that, supposedly, affirm that “so far in 2021, 1755 people have died due to the vaccine against the chinese virus, a number that overcomes the 994 people that died in the last ten years because of vaccination”. This is FALSE: neither have such a large number of people died from covid-19 vaccine, nor does it exceed the number of deaths from other injections in the last decade.

"So far in 2021, 1755 people died due to the vaccine against the Chinese virus, a number that overcomes the 994 people who died in the last ten years as a result of vaccination"

The website is echoing a hoax that has been circulating since the end of March and thas been already verified by AFP and Politifact. The origin of the hoax relies on the data manipulation by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) which cites provisional data only in the United States, an alert system for possible side effects to which anyone can write and which is not verified.

Up to March, 1.712 deaths after receiving the vaccine against covid-19 had been reported to VAERS, which makes clear on its website (a piece of information that must be read and accepted before being able to download the data) that “the numbers they present come from unverified reports of adverse events (illnesses, health problems and /or symptoms) following immunisation with the US-approved vaccines”. That is, that notified side effects —deaths in this case— do not necessarily involve that they were caused by the vaccine. They also insist that “such reports can be sent by anyone and sent them electronically through their website” and that they can be susceptible to including “incomplete information, unaccurate, repeated or unverified”. In fact, there are reports of deaths from the covid-19 vaccine in January 2001 or February 2014, when no such vaccines existed. Moreover, given that older people are being immunised in the first place, they are statistically more likely to die from non-vaccine causes.

There exists a similar surveillance system of side effects in Europe, which also warns about it is only a single recipient of alerts, but that the cases are not contrasted or investigated. 

Venous thrombosis with thrombocytopenia

“For the moment, the only cause of death probably associated with the vaccine —in particular, with AstraZeneca’s and Johnson & Jhonson’s— is the venous thrombosis with thrombocytopenia”, Adelaida Sarukhan, an immunologist and science writer at the Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal, in Catalan) in Barcelona, indicates to Verificat. Specifically, 18 deaths have been confirmed in the EU (as of 7 April 2021), 19 in the UK (as of 2 April 2021), 1 in Australia (as of 16 April 2021), and 34 in the US (as of 23 April 2021).

It is also affirmed in the text that more people have died due to the vaccine against covid-19 in the last three months than in the last 10 years for the rest of vaccines, that, according to the web, have been 994 people. The truth is that this number, again, is linked in theory and according to “Mediterráneo Digital” to the ones given by VAERS, which are deaths after vaccination, but not necessarily due to it. Getting the datum is not easy, but the severe adverse effects are very uncommon, according to a study which gathers the punctual recent cases. “There are a lot of deaths that can occur after the vaccination, especially in the oldest population (temporal association), but for almost none of them a causal relation can be proved”, Adelaida Sarukhan, an immunologist and science writer at the Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal, in Catalan) in Barcelona, points out.

What we indeed know, she adds, are data on how many lives have been saved thanks to vaccination: "The WHO estimates that 4-5 million lives are saved every year thanks to vaccination (and that's without talking about debilitating disease or sequelae of these diseases). That would be 40-50 million lives saved in the last 10 years", she concludes.

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