Free paper repeats falsehoods on deaths following vaccination

20 July 2021
What was claimed

There have been 1,400 deaths and one million injured from Covid-19 vaccinations in the UK.

Our verdict

These are deaths and potential side effects reported following the vaccine, not necessarily because of it.

The front page of free newspaper ‘The Light’, shared on Facebook, claimed that there have been 1,400 deaths and a million injuries “from covid injections” in the UK.

There have been just over 1,470 deaths following a Covid-19 vaccination in the UK, according to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) Yellow Card reporting scheme, as of 7 July 2020. These deaths aren’t necessarily caused by the vaccine though.

The MHRA says: “Vaccination and surveillance of large populations means that, by chance, some people will experience and report a new illness or events in the days and weeks after vaccination. 

“A high proportion of people vaccinated early in the vaccination campaign were very elderly, and/or had pre-existing medical conditions. Older age and chronic underlying illnesses make it more likely that coincidental adverse events will occur, especially given the millions of people vaccinated.”

The MHRA has identified a possible link between a type of extremely rare blood clot occurring with low levels of platelets and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. There have been 74 fatal cases of this following this vaccination as of 7 July.

There have been just over a million suspected reactions reported as of 7 July. Again, these adverse reactions weren’t definitely caused by the vaccination, but were reported afterwards, either by the individual themselves or a healthcare professional. Not all of these were serious “injuries”, as The Light describes them. For example, there were over 14,000 reported suspected side effects of fatigue following the Pfizer vaccine.

The main body of The Light’s front page text, which is blurry in the Facebook picture, goes on to say: “More than 1400 deaths have been reported following covid injections in the UK”. This is technically correct but, as said, the fact a death is reported following a vaccination is no proof the vaccine was the cause. 

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 partly false because the vaccine didn’t necessarily cause these deaths or suspected side effects.

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