Adverse event reports after vaccines are not necessarily due to vaccines

15 July 2021
What was claimed

In the USA there have been 387,087 reports of adverse events after the Covid-19 vaccination.

Our verdict

Adverse event reports after vaccination are not proof that the vaccine was the cause.

A Facebook post claims that, in the USA there have been 387,087 reports of adverse events “of this evil shot in the arm”, presumably referring to the Covid-19 vaccine, up until 18 June 2021.

As we have said before, the fact that an adverse event was reported after a vaccination is no proof that it was caused by the vaccine.

Public health authorities do monitor these reports to see if there may be genuine issues associated with vaccination, and this has uncovered issues such as a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots.   

But the US Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) says these ”reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness.”

Some of the reports submitted include things we know can be a result of vaccination, such as fatigue and headaches

The most recent data shows 438,441 reports detailing 1,919,081 adverse events have been submitted to the CDC following a Covid-19 vaccine, up until 2 July 2021. A small number of these reports come from outside the United States.  

The USA’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) is similar to the UK’s Yellow Card scheme, which we have written about before.

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 missing context because a report of an adverse event after a Covid-19 vaccine is not proof that it was caused by the vaccine.

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