The Covid-19 vaccines saved many lives

31 May 2023
What was claimed

There is no evidence that the Covid-19 vaccines saved a single life.

Our verdict

Research by the UKHSA and Cambridge University suggests that the Covid-19 vaccines saved more than 100,000 lives in England alone.

Many posts on Facebook claim: “There is no evidence that the shots saved a single life… Yet plenty of evidence they ended many!!!”

Some posts include captions or comments that link the claim directly to the Covid-19 vaccines. We have also frequently seen the term “shot” being used to describe Covid vaccines on social media.

Assuming that the “the shots” does mean the Covid vaccines, this claim is false.

Although it is hard to know what would have happened in an alternative world where a specific person wasn’t vaccinated, it is possible to show that the vaccines provided a high level of protection against death from Covid-19—because the risk was so much lower in vaccinated people.  

Work by the UK Health Security Agency and the University of Cambridge Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit suggests that roughly 127,500 deaths were prevented by the Covid vaccination programme in England, up to 24 September 2021.

Every death is a terrible event for the people involved, but the number caused by the Covid vaccines is much smaller in comparison.

According to the latest official data for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, 65 people have sadly died due to a Covid vaccination, with 12 more deaths registered so far where Covid vaccination was mentioned on the death certificate, but was not the underlying cause.

It is possible that these figures may rise, if there’s been a delay in registering some deaths.

Overall, the vaccines have therefore saved vastly more lives than they have cost.

We’ve seen widespread false information about Covid and the vaccines. This may lead to people making bad decisions about their health. We have written about this issue many times before.

Image courtesy of Daniel Schludi

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.