Fact check: Misleading meme suggests deaths following COVID-19 vaccination are due to vaccine

The claim: DeDeaths aths followDeaths ing COVID-19 vaccination are due to the vaccine

As the U.S. reaches an unfortunate landmark in coronavirus deaths — over 500,000 on Tuesday, various unsurpassed by way of any other state — one meme on social media is drawing interest to deaths following COVID-19 vaccination.

“What’s your thoughts? Have you heard these memories?” asks one Feb. 19 Instagram publish depicting the “I Guess I’ll Die” meme – an photograph of a person in a red turtleneck shrugging – surrounded by way of 9 exceptional Deaths headlines from diverse news retailers reporting submit-vaccination deaths. 

Three of the headlines contain deaths in Portugal, Brazil and Norway; the opposite six involvemedical examiners in California, a Florida health practitioner, a Virginia girl in her 40s and New York guy in his 70s. 

While not specific in its messaging, the juxtaposition of the headlines around the primary meme, frequently used to convey resignation to demise, indicates the vaccine can be the wrongdoer. Many of the post’s remarks echo the sentiment, likening the vaccine to the infamously unethical Tuskegee syphilis examine on Black men, which falsely advertised treatment for “bad blood,” a term typically used for a lawn kind of ailments. 

“If humans get (the vaccine) they’re insane: Tuskegee Experiment with a twist,” wrote one commentator. 

“Hard pass … I urge you all to investigate the Tuskegee test if you have not already,” some other wrote. “We are guinea pigs. Don’t play your self.”      

USA TODAY became unable to attain the Instagram consumer for in addition remark. 

More:Fact check: CDC is not inflating the COVID-19 dying depend

Deaths among elderly in Norway dominated unrelated to vaccine

One of the 9 headlines is a Jan. 15 article posted within the New York Post that info the deaths of 23 human beings in Norway — throughout age 75 and thirteen of whom have been nursing home citizens — within a week of vaccination with Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

On social media, news of these deaths fast morphed into the declare that Pfizer’s vaccine turned into singularly accountable. This allegation was further compounded by using the demise of 86-year-antique former Atlanta Braves athlete Hank Aaron nearly 3 weeks after his first vaccine dose on Jan. 22. 

Aaron’s loss of life is not believed related to the vaccine. Similarly, an ongoing investigation via the Norwegian Medicines Agency and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has now not found any proof to indicate the deaths a few of the 23 significantly frail and elderly human beings have been related to the vaccine.

“So far, there are no statistical analyses that indicate that coronavirus vaccination has had an increased risk of loss of life among those vaccinated,” said Dr. Sara Viksmoen Watle of the NIPH in a Jan. 18 announcement.    

The World Health Organization also carried out its very own evaluation and did now not discover “any sudden or untoward increase in fatalities in frail, elderly people or uncommon characteristics of unfavorable events following management of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine).”         

Fact check: Trump medical professional popular first of all brushed off masks-wearing, but then advocated

Deaths in Portugal and Brazil

On Jan. 4, the British Daily Mail pronounced 41-12 months-vintage Portuguese health worker Sonia Acevedo had died on Jan. 1, ” days after you have the Pfizer covid vaccine.” The article become among many others suggesting a correlation between the timing of her dying and the vaccine.      

In a Jan. five press release, the Portuguese Ministry of Justice stated preliminary autopsy findings did now not indicate “proof of a causal relationship between (Acevedo’s) loss of life and the vaccine she obtained.” No cause of dying became furnished, the ministry mentioning the “secrecy of justice” because the motive why. USA TODAY used Google Translate and different translation services to interpret Portuguese into English.

Prior to Acevedo’s demise, a volunteer inside the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial in Brazil died, CNN mentioned in October. Because AstraZeneca had not discontinued or paused the trial, because it had carried out in the beyond because of an “unexplained illness” amongst one in all its U.K. Phase III trial volunteers, it regarded the volunteer’s death become no longer vaccine related. 

“All considerable medical incidents, whether individuals are inside the manipulate organization or the Covid-19 vaccine institution, are independently reviewed. Following careful evaluation of this situation in Brazil, there have been no concerns about safety of the scientific trial and the impartial overview in addition to the Brazilian regulator have endorsed that the trial must retain,” stated the University of Oxford, AstraZeneca’s collaborator, in an emailed statement to CNN. 

While no extra details at the dying had been launched due to “clinical confidentiality and medical trial regulations,” an AstraZeneca spokesperson informed CNN, Bloomberg pronounced the volunteer who died changed into now not most of the vaccine arm, per an insider supply.    

More:Fact check: Long-term face mask use will not cause lung cancer

Deaths of two California medical examiners

Three of the 9 headlines in the Instagram post seek advice from deaths in Orange and Placer counties in California.

Tim Zook, an X-ray technologist at South Coast Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, acquired his 2nd coronavirus vaccine dose on Jan. 5, in step with each neighborhood FOX and CBS News affiliates. He turned into hospitalized after experiencing belly pain and issue breathing hours later, finally placed in a medically induced coma on Jan. 7 and died on Jan. nine.

Zook’s death has been stated to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a national monitoring machine co-managed by way of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Deaths Administration.

No motive of loss of life has been recognized; similarly research is underway.

“The Orange County Coroner has an open dying research into Zook’s dying and may be accomplishing additional checks within its post-mortem protocol … it will use the ones findings, together with post-mortem findings, to make a final determination into the purpose and manner of demise so as to now not probable arise for three-four months,” stated the Orange County Coroner’s workplace in an e-mail to USA TODAY.

If the death is dominated vaccine-associated, the workplace said it might at once notify the Orange County Health Care Agency.

In Placer County, an unnamed medical expert died on Jan. 21 numerous hours after being vaccinated, NBC News Wisconsin associate stated. 

The sixty four-year-vintage male had examined fantastic for the radical coronavirus in past due December; on the time of his demise, fitness officials did no longer suggest whether or not this factored into his health or demise. 

The Placer County Sheriff-Coroner Division dominated out the vaccine as a reason of loss of life in an updated declaration launched Jan. 30 on its Facebook web page. 

“Through our research, we’ve found out extra details about the person. We have learned that now not most effective had he currently been diagnosed with COVID-19, he additionally had underlying health problems, and have been displaying signs and symptoms of contamination on the time the vaccine turned into administered. Clinical exam and lab outcomes have decided the COVID-19 vaccine has been dominated out as a contributing factor in the person’s dying.”

More:Fact test: Post distorts WHO’s COVID-19 PCR checking out recommendations

Florida medical doctor’s demise nevertheless under investigation

Obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Gregory Michael died from complications of immune thrombocytopenia, or ITP – terrible blood clotting because of a loss of platelets – in early January. 

The fifty six-year-old obtained Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 18 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, in which he practiced, and died 16 days later from a brain hemorrhage after more than one treatments for his ITP failed, The New York Times pronounced. 

Pfizer informed the Times it turned into “actively investigating” the medical doctor’s demise “but we don’t agree with presently that there’s any direct connection to the vaccine.” 

Thirty-six other similar instances of ITP had been suggested to VAERS, the Times suggested in early February, but it’s far unknown whether these events are causally related to the vaccine.

It is really worth noting ITP changed into now not observed in either Moderna or Pfizer’s massive scientific trials of mixed over 70,000 members. 

More:Fact test: Amish groups have been laid low with COVID-19 pandemic

Death of Virginia woman believed not due to vaccine, research underway for loss of life of New York man

Earlier in February, Drene Keyes of Gloucester, Virginia, and an unnamed New York City resident in his 70s had been suggested to have died rapidly after vaccination.

NBC information pronounced Keyes, fifty eight, become vaccinated with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. five. She remained in the health facility for the recommended 15-minute commentary duration to display for any hypersensitive reaction earlier than being discharged. Keyes later again with complaints of vomiting and hassle breathing, at which point she was rushed to Virginia Commonwealth University Health Tappahannock Hospital. She died day after today. 

According to Dr. M. Norman Oliver, Virginia kingdom fitness commissioner, Keyes’ demise did no longer appear related to any vaccine-associated hypersensitive reaction. 

“Preliminary findings imply that the motive of demise became no longer anaphylaxis, however it’ll take several weeks for additional records to grow to be to be had,” he said in a statement on Feb. 5. “We can confirm that the demise passed off inside hours of getting received the vaccine, but that isn’t always evidence of it being associated. We are currently investigating and do no longer yet understand the cause of demise.”

The unnamed New York City man died on Feb. 7 after collapsing outside of Manhattan’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, where he obtained his vaccine 25 minutes earlier, the New York Post said. 

In a statement, New York country health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker stated the person “exhibited no unfavourable reactions or any misery” at some point of the 15-minute commentary length.

No reliable motive of loss of life has been concluded however a clinical investigation is underway, reported nearby CBS News associate CBS 2.

More:Fact check: Merck discontinues COVID-19 vaccine paintings over weak immune response

Correlation isn’t causation 

While reports of deaths following COVID-19 vaccination may additionally sound alarming, fitness care specialists are reminding the public there may be no conclusive affiliation among the 2.

“These vaccines have had tremendous safety profiles in the trials and publish-authorization. So a ways, there has been not anything to verify these awful events,” stated Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, to ABC News in February. 

“These clinical events arise each unmarried day, consisting of unexplained illnesses,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of medication within the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, also to ABC News. “The question truely is, do they arise at a more fee within the vaccinated populace than they do in the wellknown populace?”

So a ways consistent with a current CDC report, nearly ninety% of VAERS reports were “nonserious occasions and worried local and systemic signs.” The CDC envisioned out of 1,000,000 humans, hypersensitive reactions befell in kind of five, various inside variety of what has been stated with other vaccines for the flu, meningitis and shingles.

The facts analyzed become accumulated between Dec. 14, 2020, and Jan. 13, a term that saw thirteen.eight million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines administered.

A total of 113 deaths have been said, which include from loss of life certificates and autopsy reviews, however no causal link among coronavirus vaccination and death turned into located, in line with the CDC.  

Our ruling: Missing context

We rate this declare MISSING CONTEXT because without additional context it is probably misleading. The deaths of various people across the U.S. and some other place following COVID-19 vaccination did occur, but the vaccine has now not been diagnosed as a cause of dying. A recent CDC report observed that of the 113 dying reviews to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System between Dec. 14 and Jan. thirteen — a time period which noticed thirteen.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines administered — no causal link among vaccination and dying became determined. 

Our reality-take a look at sources:USA TODAY, Feb. 22, “US at the cusp of 500,000 coronavirus deaths; Britain rolls out plan to ease lockdown notwithstanding version: Latest COVID-19 updates”Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, Feb. 22, “Mortality Analyses” Know Your Meme, accessed Feb. 22, “Guess I’ll Die” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 2, 2020, “The Tuskegee Timeline” New York Post, Jan. 15, “23 die in Norway after receiving Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine: officers” PolitiFact, Feb. five, “No proof that COVID-19 vaccinations brought on deaths of senior residents”Associated Press, Jan. 22, “Hank Aaron, baseball’s one-time home run king, dies at 86″USA TODAY, Jan. 27, “Fact take a look at: Not probable that COVID-19 vaccine became purpose of Hank Aaron’s demise” Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Jan. 19, “International hobby about deaths following coronavirus vaccination” The World Health Organization, Jan. 22, “GACVS COVID-19 Vaccine Safety subcommittee meeting to study reports of deaths of very frail aged people vaccinated with Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2″The Daily Mail, Jan. four, “Portuguese medical expert, 41, dies two days upon getting the Pfizer covid vaccine as her father says he ‘wishes answers'”Health Feedback, Jan. eight, “COVID-19 vaccine did now not purpose the demise of a Portuguese woman, opposite to social media posts’ recommendations”Portugal Ministry of Justice, Jan. 5, “Autópsia de funcionária do IPO não estabelece relação direta com vacina contra a Covid-19″CNN, Oct. 21, 2020, “Coronavirus vaccine volunteer in Brazil’s AstraZeneca trial dies – however government say trial to retain” AstraZeneca, Sept. 9, 2020, “Statement on AstraZeneca Oxford SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, AZD1222, COVID-19 vaccine trials temporary pause”Bloomberg, Oct. 21, 2020, “Deceased AstraZeneca Trial Volunteer Didn’t Receive Vaccine” FOX 11 Los Angeles, Jan. 28, “OC fitness care worker dies after receiving 2nd COVID-19 vaccine shot; official cause of death pending” CBS Los Angeles, Jan. 28, “60-Year-Old Father Dies After Receiving Second Dose Of Pfizer Vaccine”The OC Register, Jan. 26, “Health care worker dies after 2nd dose of COVID vaccine, investigations underway”Orange County Coroner’s office, Feb. 22, Email. NBC15 Madison, Jan. 25, “Individual in California dies hours after receiving COVID-19 vaccine” Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Jan. 30, Facebook publish. Mayo Clinic, April 8, 2020, “Thrombocytopenia”The New York Times, Jan. 12, “Doctor’s Death After Covid Vaccine Is Being Investigated”The New York Times, Feb. 8, “A Few Covid Vaccine Recipients Developed a Rare Blood Disorder”Blood, April 17, 2017, “Clinical updates in adult immune thrombocytopenia” Food and Drug Administration, Nov. 30, 2020, “Emergency Use of Authorization (EUA) for an Unapproved Product Review Memorandum ModernaTX”Food and Drug Administration, Nov. 20, 2020, “Emergency Use of Authorization (EUA) for an Unapproved Product Review Memorandum Pfizer”American Journal of Gastroenterology, accessed Feb. 23, “Platelets in inflammatory bowel ailment: scientific, Deaths pathogenic, and healing implications”NBC News, Feb. 5, “Virginia female dies shortly after Covid vaccination, though no hyperlink has been discovered”New York Post, Feb. 7, “Elderly man collapses, dies rapidly upon getting COVID-19 vaccine at Javits Center”CBS 2, Feb. 8, “Medical Examiner Investigation Death Of Elderly Man Who Collapsed After Getting COVID Vaccine At Javits Center”ABC News, Feb. 3, “Fact-test: No link among COVID-19 vaccines and people who die after receiving them”U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Feb. 19, “First Month of COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Monitoring — United States, December 14, 2020–January thirteen, 2021”

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can join our print edition, advert-loose app or digital newspaper duplicate right here.

Our truth take a look at work is supported in part via a supply from Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.