• September 24, 2021

Europe Fact check: Are COVID-19 vaccines causing deaths?

 Europe Fact check: Are COVID-19 vaccines causing deaths?

Online claims of coronavirus vaccines being lethal are rife following a string of deaths in care homes that vaccinated residents. DW looks into cases around the world and what was behind them.

 

With coronavirus vaccine distribution well underway around the world, all eyes are on those who have already received the jabs.

For those who don’t read past the headlines, a concerning narrative appears — “Fifteen deaths after coronavirus vaccination,” “Deaths at care home after coronavirus vaccine,” “Volunteer in vaccine trial dies after COVID-19 vaccine.”

In each case, there’s more to the story than meets the eye. DW reviewed several cases in Germany, Spain, the United States, Norway, Belgium, and Peru, finding that in all cases experts from multiple health authorities could not find causal links between the vaccination and deaths.

As of publication, at least 37 million coronavirus vaccinations have been administered in these countries, according to Bloomberg’s global vaccine tracker. In those countries, the total number of reported deaths that have occurred post-vaccination is around 350. As US data includes user-submitted information, at least 181 of these cases have not been independently verified.

People in Germany find COVID-19 vaccination is lagging

The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), which is in charge of vaccination in Germany, has been looking into 113 reported deaths in the country. In all these cases, those who died were aged from 79 to 93 years old and died between one hour and 19 days after receiving the vaccine. Of those 113, 20 died as a result of the COVID-19 infection (19 of them did not have full vaccination protection; the other case is still unclear). 43 people died as a result of pre-existing conditions, according to Brigitte Keller-Stanislawski, the head of the PEI’s department of safety for medical products.

“Based on the data that we have, we assume that the patients died of their underlying disease — in a coincidental time with the vaccination,” she told German broadcaster n-tv. While she did not comment on individual cases, she said, “They were very seriously ill patients with many underlying diseases.”

“If the elderly or people with severe pre-existing conditions are vaccinated, there will be a certain number of accidental deaths that occur shortly after vaccination, which cannot be causally associated with the vaccination. In its latest safety report, the Paul Ehrlich Institute highlights the cases of 20 vaccinated individuals who died in the setting of the COVID-19 disease.

The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), which is in charge of vaccination in Germany, has been looking into 113 reported deaths in the country. In all these cases, those who died were aged from 79 to 93 years old and died between one hour and 19 days after receiving the vaccine. Of those 113, 20 died as a result of the COVID-19 infection (19 of them did not have full vaccination protection; the other case is still unclear). 43 people died as a result of pre-existing conditions, according to Brigitte Keller-Stanislawski, the head of the PEI’s department of safety for medical products.

“Based on the data that we have, we assume that the patients died of their underlying disease — in a coincidental time with the vaccination,” she told German broadcaster n-tv. While she did not comment on individual cases, she said, “They were very seriously ill patients with many underlying diseases.”

“If the elderly or people with severe pre-existing conditions are vaccinated, there will be a certain number of accidental deaths that occur shortly after vaccination, which cannot be causally associated with the vaccination. In its latest safety report, the Paul Ehrlich Institute highlights the cases of 20 vaccinated individuals who died in the setting of the COVID-19 disease.

A press spokeswoman told DW via email that “all of them except one man had incomplete vaccination protection, since the COVID-19 disease occurred after the first vaccination. Protection begins seven to 14 days after the second vaccination (depending on the vaccine) so it is possible to become ill and die from COVID-19 after receiving only the first dose. 33 Individuals with multiple pre-existing conditions are either suffering from the worsening of their underlying disease or from another disease independent of vaccination. Ten individuals died from another infectious disease, not COVID-19.”

“In all other persons, there were in some cases multiple previous diseases such as carcinomas, renal insufficiency, heart diseases and arteriosclerotic changes, which were presumably the cause of death,” she added. In 50 cases, the cause of death remains unknown.

According to calculations of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut in this report, the deaths with an unclear cause reported by 31.01.2021 are not more frequent than the expected number of deaths.

In Germany, the BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines are being used.

Spain: ‘At least seven die at care home after getting Pfizer COVID-19 jab’

Spanish media report that nine people died in a Spanish care home after receiving the first dose of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccination, all of whom had previous illnesses.

 

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Editor @Investigator_50

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