Website makes false claims about vaccines and miscarriages

28 June 2021
What was claimed

Covid-19 vaccines have caused 172 miscarriages since January 2021.

Our verdict

Miscarriages have been reported following vaccination, but there’s no evidence to show vaccines were the cause. The number of miscarriages reported after vaccination does not appear to exceed the number you would ordinarily expect.

An article on a website called Daily Expose has claimed that between 9 December 2020 and 2 June 2021 there was a 3016% increase in the number of women who had miscarried “as a result of” having the Covid-19 vaccine. 

The claim is based on data from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Yellow Card scheme, which collects reports of adverse events following vaccination, but does not prove that vaccination was the cause of any of them.

Daily Expose says that in the first summary of Yellow Card data (covering 9 December 2020 to 24 January 2021), there were six reported miscarriages (recorded as spontaneous abortions) which climbed to over 170 for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines as of 9 June. (It has since increased above 200 as of 16 June). Daily Expose claims this is evidence that Covid-19 vaccines have caused miscarriages. 

It isn’t surprising that the number of miscarriages reported after vaccination has increased, given the women vaccinated at the beginning of the rollout were less likely to have been of childbearing age.

Women aged over 45 were first invited to be vaccinated in mid-April, and over-30s were invited in late May. 

In any case, these reports do not prove that vaccination caused these miscarriages. Sadly, it’s estimated one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage, with an estimated 250,000 miscarriages in the UK each year, so the number of miscarriages reported after vaccination doesn’t appear to exceed the expected level. 

So far, miscarriage has not been identified by the MHRA as a related adverse effect of the vaccine. Reuters reports the regulator was monitoring a “small number of miscarriage reports following the first 12 weeks of pregnancy”, but the MHRA has said there was no pattern to suggest an increased risk of miscarriage.

The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that data of vaccinations among over 100,000 pregnant women “did not identify any safety concerns”.

Update 1 July 2021

This article was updated to clarify which statistical trend had changed.

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