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

The declare: Deaths following COVID-19 vaccination are due to the vaccine

As the U.S. reaches an unDeaths fortunate landmark in coronavirus deaths — over 500,000 on Tuesday, various unsurpassed via another kingdom — one meme on social media is drawing interest to deaths following COVID-19 vaccination.

“What’s your mind? Have you heard these memories?” asks one Feb. 19 Instagram put up depicting the “I Guess I’ll Die” meme – an image Deaths of a person in a pink turtleneck shrugging – surrounded with the aid of 9 exclusive headlines from various information stores reporting post-vaccination deaths. 

Three of the headlines involve deaths in Portugal, Brazil and Norway; the other six contain two medical examiners in California, a Florida health practitioner, a Virginia lady in her 40s and New York man in his 70s. 

While no longer express in its messaging, the juxtaposition of the headlines across the vital meme, frequently used to convey resignation to demise, indicates the vaccine may be the offender. Many of the submit’s comments echo the sentiment, likening the vaccine to the infamously unethical Tuskegee syphilis have a look at on Black men, which falsely marketed treatment for “awful blood,” a term commonly used for a garden sort of illnesses. 

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

“Hard skip … I urge you all to analyze the Tuskegee test if you haven’t already,” any other wrote. “We are guinea pigs. Don’t play yourself.”      

USA TODAY became not able to attain the Instagram person for in addition comment. 

More:Fact test: CDC is not inflating the COVID-19 death remember

Deaths among aged in Norway ruled unrelated to vaccine

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

On social media, information of those deaths quick morphed into the claim that Pfizer’s vaccine become singularly responsible. This allegation turned into in addition compounded via the loss of life of 86-year-vintage former Atlanta Braves athlete Hank Aaron nearly three weeks after his first vaccine dose on Jan. 22. 

Aaron’s demise is not believed associated with the vaccine. Similarly, an ongoing investigation via the Norwegian Medicines Agency and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has not discovered any evidence to suggest the deaths a few of the 23 seriously frail and aged humans were related to the vaccine.

“So a long way, there aren’t any statistical analyses that suggest that coronavirus vaccination has had an multiplied hazard 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 performed its personal evaluate and did no longer find “any unexpected or untoward increase in fatalities in frail, elderly people or unusual traits of unfavourable events following administration of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine).”         

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Deaths in Portugal and Brazil

On Jan. 4, the British Daily Mail reported 41-year-vintage Portuguese medical examiner Sonia Acevedo had died on Jan. 1, “two days after you have the Pfizer covid vaccine.” The article changed into among many others suggesting a correlation between the timing of her demise and the vaccine.      

In a Jan. 5 press launch, the Portuguese Ministry of Justice said initial post-mortem findings did not suggest “evidence of a causal courting between (Acevedo’s) dying and the vaccine she obtained.” No purpose of demise become provided, the ministry mentioning the “secrecy of justice” because the purpose why. USA TODAY used Google Translate and different translation offerings to interpret Portuguese into English.

Prior to Acevedo’s dying, a volunteer in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial in Brazil died, CNN mentioned in October. Because AstraZeneca had not discontinued or paused the trial, as it had done in the past due to an “unexplained illness” amongst one among its U.K. Phase III trial volunteers, it appeared the volunteer’s demise turned into now not vaccine related. 

“All vast clinical incidents, whether or not participants are within the manipulate institution or the Covid-19 vaccine group, are independently reviewed. Following cautious assessment of this situation in Brazil, there had been no issues approximately protection of the clinical trial and the unbiased review further to the Brazilian regulator have recommended that the trial need to keep,” stated the University of Oxford, AstraZeneca’s collaborator, in an emailed assertion to CNN. 

While no additional details on the demise were released due to “scientific confidentiality and clinical trial regulations,” an AstraZeneca spokesperson informed CNN, Bloomberg suggested the volunteer who died was no longer many of the vaccine arm, in line with an insider source.    

More:Fact check: Long-time period face masks use will no longer purpose lung most cancers

Deaths of 2 California health workers

Three of the nine headlines within the Instagram post discuss with deaths in Orange and Placer counties in California.

Tim Zook, an X-ray technologist at South Coast Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, obtained his second coronavirus vaccine dose on Jan. 5, in line with both nearby FOX and CBS News associates. He became hospitalized after experiencing belly pain and problem respiratory hours later, ultimately located in a medically induced coma on Jan. 7 and died on Jan. nine.

Zook’s demise has been mentioned to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a country wide tracking gadget co-managed via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

No reason of death has been recognized; similarly investigation is underway.

“The Orange County Coroner has an open dying investigation into Zook’s death and may be carrying out additional tests inside its post-mortem protocol … it’s going to use the ones findings, in conjunction with autopsy findings, to make a final dedication into the purpose and way of demise so that it will not in all likelihood arise for three-four months,” said the Orange County Coroner’s workplace in an electronic mail to USA TODAY.

If the death is dominated vaccine-related, the workplace said it would without delay notify the Orange County Health Care Agency.

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

The 64-12 months-old male had tested superb for the unconventional coronavirus in overdue December; at the time of his loss of life, health officials did now not suggest whether or not this factored into his health or death. 

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

“Through our research, we’ve got discovered greater details about the character. We have learned that no longer most effective had he these days been identified with COVID-19, he also had underlying health issues, and have been displaying signs and symptoms of contamination on the time the vaccine was administered. Clinical examination and lab outcomes have determined the COVID-19 vaccine has been dominated out as a contributing element in the individual’s loss of life.”

More:Fact take a look at: Post distorts WHO’s COVID-19 PCR testing Deaths hints

Florida medical doctor’s demise still under investigation

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

The fifty six-12 months-old received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 18 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, in which he practiced, and died sixteen days later from a mind hemorrhage after more than one remedies for his ITP failed, The New York Times reported. 

Pfizer told the Times it became “actively investigating” the physician’s dying “however we do not believe at the moment that there may be any direct connection to the vaccine.” 

Thirty-six different comparable cases of ITP were pronounced to VAERS, the Times said in early February, however it’s miles unknown whether these occasions are causally associated with the vaccine.

It is well worth noting ITP became not located in both Moderna or Pfizer’s Deaths huge clinical trials of combined over 70,000 participants. 

More:Fact check: Amish groups were stricken by COVID-19 pandemic

Death of Virginia girl believed not because of vaccine, research underway for dying of New York man

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

NBC information suggested Keyes, fifty eight, became vaccinated with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. five. She remained inside the health center for the encouraged 15-minute commentary length to screen for any hypersensitivity earlier than being discharged. Keyes later returned with complaints of vomiting and problem respiratory, at which point she turned into rushed to Virginia Commonwealth University Health Tappahannock Hospital. She died day after today. 

According to Dr. M. Norman Oliver, Virginia kingdom fitness commissioner, Keyes’ loss of life did not seem connected to any vaccine-related allergy. 

“Preliminary findings indicate that the motive of dying turned into no longer anaphylaxis, however it will take numerous weeks for added facts to emerge as to be had,” he stated in a assertion on Feb. 5. “We can verify that the loss of life befell within hours of having received the vaccine, however that isn’t always evidence of it being related. We are presently investigating and do not yet recognize the cause of death.”

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

In a assertion, New York state fitness commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said the man “exhibited no destructive reactions or any distress” at some point of the 15-minute commentary duration.

No reliable reason of demise has been concluded but a medical research is underway, mentioned local CBS News associate CBS 2.

More:Fact take a look at: Merck discontinues COVID-19 vaccine work over susceptible immune reaction

Correlation isn’t causation 

While reports of deaths following COVID-19 vaccination may additionally sound alarming, fitness care experts are reminding the general public there’s no conclusive association among the 2.

“These vaccines have had terrific protection profiles inside the trials and post-authorization. So a long way, there has been not anything to confirm these lousy events,” said Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, to ABC News in February. 

“These clinical occasions arise each single day, along with unexplained illnesses,” stated Dr. William Schaffner, professor of medication in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, additionally to ABC News. “The query sincerely is, do they arise at a extra price inside the vaccinated populace than they do in the general populace?”

So some distance consistent with a current CDC file, nearly ninety% of VAERS reviews have been “nonserious occasions and worried local and systemic signs.” The CDC estimated out of a million humans, hypersensitive reactions took place in roughly five, a range of inside variety of what has been suggested with other vaccines for the flu, meningitis and shingles.

The records analyzed became gathered between Dec. 14, 2020, and Jan. thirteen, a time period that saw thirteen.eight million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines administered.

A overall of 113 deaths have been reported, consisting of from loss of life certificates and autopsy reviews, however no causal hyperlink between coronavirus vaccination and dying changed into located, consistent with the CDC.  

Our ruling: Missing context

We rate this declare MISSING CONTEXT due to the fact without additional context it might be misleading. The deaths of diverse individuals throughout the U.S. and somewhere else following COVID-19 vaccination did occur, however the vaccine has no longer been identified as a motive of loss of life. A recent CDC report located that of the 113 death reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System among Dec. 14 and Jan. 13 — a time period which saw 13.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines administered — no causal hyperlink among vaccination and death became found. 

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