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Andy Nguyen
By Andy Nguyen December 9, 2022

No, 1.1 million Americans did not die suddenly because of the COVID-19 vaccines

If Your Time is short

  • A data chart showing excess deaths in the United States from 2020 to 2022 illustrates the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the country. 
  • The chart does not mention specific causes of the excess deaths but coincides with a surge in COVID-19-related fatalities in early 2022. 
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in preventing hospitalization and death from the virus.

A chart tracking deaths in 31 countries during the coronavirus pandemic’s last three years is being portrayed on social media as proof that the COVID-19 vaccines are deadly.

A Dec. 4 Instagram post features a screenshot of a Discern Report blog post headlined, "SECRET CDC REPORT: Since the Covid Jabs Were Rolled Out, at Least 1.1 Million Americans Have 'Died Suddenly.'"

The Instagram post was flagged as part of Instagram’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The blog post claims the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "quietly confirmed" more than 1 million Americans died after the COVID-19 vaccines’ rollout. 

"Since the time when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for the jabs, more than six million Americans total have died," the post said. "Of this, 1,106,079 deaths are considered to be ‘excess,’ based on the five-year average from 2015 to 2019."

The claims trace back to a post in The Daily Exposé, a website that has published COVID-19 misinformation

The Discern Report post said the information didn’t come directly from the CDC but from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The organization is an intergovernmental association of 38 countries, including the United States. 

The organization drew on data from the CDC and other countries’ health organizations to report on three years' worth of data, finding more people died in the last three years compared to deaths recorded from 2015 to 2019.

An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development spokesperson told PolitiFact the post’s claims are untrue; the excess deaths are not a result of people dying suddenly because of the COVID-19 vaccines. 

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"The figures show the number of additional deaths recorded from all causes — sudden and otherwise — in each week compared to the average expected," said David Morgan, the organization’s health analyst.

Studies have shown the available vaccines in the U.S. are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

Although the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development doesn’t have specific information on what caused the excess deaths, Morgan said the pandemic contributed. 

Half of the deaths that happened within 2022’s first 10 weeks, coinciding with a deaths spike fueled by the coronavirus’s omicron variant, he said.

There also "may still be some indirect effects" of COVID-19, such as strained health care systems, which could have contributed to some of the deaths. But other unrelated issues, like heat waves, could have played a role, too, Morgan said. 

Our ruling

An Instagram post claimed, "since the COVID jabs were rolled out, at least 1.1 million Americans have 'died suddenly.'"

The post claims that death data collected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development showed that more than one million people died because of the COVID-19 vaccines. 

The organization does not make that conclusion, and health officials have said the vaccines are safe. The organization said its data measured deaths from 2020 to 2022 in excess to the average number of deaths from 2015 to 2019. 

An organization spokesperson cited no specific reason for the rise in deaths, but said the pandemic appeared to play a role — from fatal infections to a lack of medical care because of stresses on the health care system. He said other factors, such as heat waves, could also have contributed.

We rate this claim False.

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No, 1.1 million Americans did not die suddenly because of the COVID-19 vaccines

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