Stand up for the facts!
Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
According to the CDC, in the U.S. the unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19.
There is no clear evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have caused any deaths in the U.S., the CDC says.
A viral image that alleges that vaccines have caused a 175% increase in COVID-19 deaths ignores the outsize impact of the virus on the unvaccinated, as well as the large and growing body of evidence that vaccines substantially reduce the likelihood of death.
The image, titled "U.S. pandemic outcomes," cites figures indicating that the seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths was more than twice as high on Sept. 28, 2021, as it was on the same date in 2020, when there weren’t yet any vaccines.
"The v campaign," the image concludes, referring to vaccinations, "increased C-19 deaths" by 175%.
The image, shared on Instagram, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) Some social media users avoid spelling out words like "vaccine," "shot" or "COVID-19" to evade detection by fact-checkers.
The post makes several errors: First, it cherry-picks two data points without examining the trends in between. Second, it fails to account for the overall number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for each period, which affects the case fatality rate. Third, it attributes the difference in the death totals to the vaccine campaign, without providing any evidence to support that conclusion. Fourth, it fails to account for the vaccination status of the people who died in 2021. Fifth, it ignores scientific evidence that vaccination reduces the risks of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
Figures from credible sources differ from what’s in the Instagram post, but they show that the seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths on Sept. 28, 2021, was just over double the number a year earlier.
The seven-day rolling average of confirmed COVID-19 deaths was 767 on Sept. 28, 2020; and 1,993 on Sept. 28, 2021, according to Our World in Data.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the figures were 652 in the 2020 period and 1,425 in 2021.
But those year-over-year comparisons are skewed: September 2020 was during a trough in overall COVID-19 cases, before a huge spike in cases and deaths that peaked in January 2021. September 2021, on the other hand, coincided with another spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths due to the emergence of the delta variant.
In between those spikes, the rolling average fell as low as 192 deaths, as the vaccines became more widely available.
COVID-19 has killed nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. and about 4.8 million worldwide. The vaccines authorized in the U.S. have been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
As of Sept. 20, 2021, more than 181 million people in the United States had been fully vaccinated and there were 4,493 breakthrough infections in which the person died, according to the CDC. That comes out to 0.002%. Of those, 86% were people above age 65, and 19% were people who didn’t have COVID-19 symptoms or whose death was not COVID-related.
The CDC reported on Sept. 10 that, based on a study of more than 600,000 COVID-19 cases in 13 states from April through mid-July, unvaccinated people were 11 times more likely to die than vaccinated people.
There is no clear evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have caused any deaths in the U.S. Researchers are still evaluating whether there is a connection between the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and rare types of blood clots that have led to deaths, but such cases are few.
Here’s what the CDC says about deaths occurring after vaccination:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires health care providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, jointly run by the CDC and the FDA, even if it’s unclear whether the vaccine was the cause.
More than 390 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from Dec. 14, 2020, through Sept. 27, 2021. In that period, VAERS received 8,164 reports of death among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.
"A review of available clinical information, including death certificates, autopsy and medical records, has not established a causal link to COVID-19 vaccines."
A viral image claimed that "the vaccination campaign" increased COVID-19 deaths by 175% in one year. It reaches that conclusion by comparing death figures for Sept. 28, 2021, and the same day a year earlier, before vaccines were available.
The claim uses a flawed comparison to reach a conclusion for which it provides no evidence.
According to the CDC, unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19, and no evidence has established that the COVID-19 vaccines have caused any deaths.
We rate the post False.
Instagram, post, Sept. 29, 2021
Our World in Data, "Daily confirmed COVID-19 deaths, rolling seven-day average," accessed Sept. 30, 2021
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Trends in Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in the US Reported to CDC, by State/Territory," accessed Sept. 30, 2021
Associated Press, "CDC finds unvaccinated 11 times more likely to die of COVID," Sept. 10, 2021
PolitiFact, "No evidence of COVID-19 vaccines causing deaths," Sept. 20, 2021
PolitiFact, "Unvaccinated people ‘not dead or sick’? False. COVID-19 is hitting them hard," Aug. 9, 2021
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Selected Adverse Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccination," Sept. 27, 2021
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Case Investigation and Reporting," Sept. 24, 2021
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.