The Covid-19 vaccine programme isn’t a medical experiment

18 February 2021
What was claimed

The Covid vaccination programme is a medical experiment.

Our verdict

No it isn’t. The vaccines have been approved for use after clinical trials.

What was claimed

The VAERS website shows a list of damage and death caused by vaccines.

Our verdict

No it doesn’t. It shows a list of events reported after vaccination, not necessarily caused by it. Reports in the UK so far show no deaths caused by Covid vaccines.

This article was published before the MHRA announced a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a very rare type of blood clot, which can be fatal. It was correct at the time of writing. Our latest fact checks about Covid-19 and the pandemic can be found here.

People delivering the Covid-19 vaccination programme do not have to tell patients that they are taking part in a medical experiment, as a post on Facebook falsely claims.

The vaccination programme is not an experiment. The three Covid vaccines currently approved for use in the UK have already been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials.

It’s normal that authorities continue to monitor the safety of these vaccines even after they have been approved. This monitoring happens with all vaccines, including those that have been in use for years, to detect any adverse effects. Just because studies into these vaccines are continuing, doesn’t mean anyone getting the vaccine in the nationwide roll-out is part of an experiment.

People delivering the vaccines do not risk trial for “war crimes”, as the post claims. This seems to be a reference to the Nuremberg code, which says that a subject’s voluntary consent is essential in experiments. But as we have said, the roll out of the vaccine is not an experiment. Each patient is already required to give informed consent to receive a vaccine . We have written about a similar claim before.

The post also includes the address of the VAERS website, which it falsely claims will provide “a current list of damage and death caused by Covid 19 vaccines”.

As we have said before, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) compiles a list for the US of reported incidents that took place after vaccination, not necessarily because of it. 

At the moment, thousands of people around the world are being given Covid vaccines every day. If someone gets ill or dies shortly after being vaccinated, this does not necessarily mean the vaccine caused it. 

As of 7 February, 173 deaths following Covid vaccination had been reported in the UK—none of which were caused by the vaccine.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says: “The majority of these reports were in elderly people or people with underlying illness... Review of individual reports and patterns of reporting does not suggest the vaccine played a role in the death.”

Update 16 August 2021

A line was added at the beginning of this article to reflect new information about vaccine safety, which appeared after it was published.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because the Covd vaccination programme is not a medical experiment, patients must consent to being vaccinated, and VAERS reports show events after vaccination, not because of it.

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