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• Many studies included on the list clearly state that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the small risk of side effects, which are rare.
• The list says it includes 1,000 studies, but some studies appear more than once, under different adverse reaction categories.
• Some of the adverse reactions included on the list cite a single study of one patient.
An Australian blog touting "medical freedom" published a misleading list about COVID-19 vaccine safety.
The headline on the Jan. 20 list reads, "1,000 peer reviewed studies questioning COVID-19 vaccine safety."
The list was shared on Facebook and flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
It was published on Informed Choice Australia, which describes itself as "a portal of information to help you make the right choice," and says people have the right "to refuse any treatment that has not completed all the required clinical trials including long-term studies."
Far from "questioning COVID-19 vaccine safety," as the claim says, many studies included in this catalog clearly state that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the small risk of side effects, which are rare. The studies collect, interpret and evaluate data about adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines, per the process with scientific research.
The list is grouped by adverse reaction categories, with myocarditis — inflammation of the heart muscle — topping the list and 226 related studies cited for that category. The risk of myocarditis from COVID-19 vaccines is small and symptoms are normally mild. By comparison, contracting COVID-19 is "a strong and significant risk factor for myocarditis," especially among children yoinger than 16, according to the CDC.
The very first study on the list, which examined four patients with myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination, says, "The authors seek not to frustrate vaccination efforts, but rather to prepare patients and providers for a rare but potential adverse effect."
Among the first 10 studies listed, nearly every one included similar language. One of the studies put it like this: "Cases tend to be mild, do not usually require specific interventions, and potential risks of the vaccine are outweighed by the well defined risks of COVID-19 infection."
For other adverse reaction categories, the list again pointed to studies that did not question the safety of COVID-19 vaccines:
For cerebral venous thrombosis, a blood clot in the brain, one of the studies cited says the frequency of that reaction after COVID-19 vaccination is "markedly lower" than for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
For anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction that causes airways to narrow and block breathing, one of the studies said, "The risk of anaphylaxis to mRNA vaccines is present but extremely low and is offset by the benefits of the vaccine."
The blog says it includes 1,000 studies, but some studies appear more than once, under different adverse reaction categories. For example, one study is found under both the anaphylaxis and allergic reactions categories, and multiple studies appear under both myocarditis and pericarditis subcategories.
One adverse reaction that’s listed, called Sweet’s syndrome — a painful rash — cites a single study of one person.
A list published on a blog has a headline that says, "1,000 peer reviewed studies questioning COVID-19 vaccine safety."
Many studies included on the list clearly state that the benefits of vaccination against COVID-19 far outweigh the small risk of side effects, which are rare.
The list says it includes 1,000 studies, but some studies are on the list more than once, under different adverse reaction categories.
We rate this claim False.
American Heart Journal Plus: Cardiology Research and Practice, "Myocarditis following mRNA vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, a case series," August, 2021
Canadian Journal of Cardiology, "Myocarditis and Pericarditis After COVID-19 mRNA Vaccination: Practical Considerations for Care Providers," October 2021
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Association Between COVID-19 and Myocarditis Using Hospital-Based Administrative Data — United States, March 2020–January 2021," Sept. 3, 2021
Clinical Immunology, "Anaphylaxis associated with the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines: Approach to allergy investigation," April 28, 2021
Informed Choice Australia, "1000 Peer Reviewed Studies Questioning Covid-19 Vaccine Safety," Jan. 20, 2022
JAMA Cardiology, "Myocarditis Following Immunization With mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines in Members of the US Military," June 29, 2021
Journal of the American College of Cardiology, "Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis in the U.S. Population, After Adenovirus-Based SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination, and After COVID-19," July 27, 2021
Mayo Clinic, "Anaphylaxis," accessed Feb. 17, 2022
Pediatrics, "Symptomatic Acute Myocarditis in 7 Adolescents After Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccination," Sept. 1, 2021
PolitiFact, "Benefits from COVID-19 vaccines far outweigh the risks for teens," Nov. 23, 2021
PolitiFact, "Social media claim misleads on risk of myocarditis," Jan. 31, 2022
The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, "Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome associated with COVID-19 vaccines," November 2021
Turkish Journal of Anaesthesiology & Reanimation, "What is Scientific Research and How Can it be Done?" August 2016
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