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The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System accepts unverified reports of possible side effects from taking vaccines.
No evidence has established that a COVID-19 vaccine caused any deaths.
A TikTok video liked more than 936,000 times claims that COVID-19 vaccines have killed some 6,000 people in the United States.
"The Vaccine Adverse Event Recording System shows that 5,946 people have died because of the vaccine," the user states, referring to a government database called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS.
That’s not what VAERS shows.
In fact, there have been no established or proven cases of a COVID-19 vaccine causing death in the U.S.
VAERS is run by two federal agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. It is designed so that any person can report an adverse event that occurs after a vaccination, and anyone can scour the reports. The system helps researchers collect data on vaccine after-effects and to detect patterns that may warrant a closer look.
But VAERS accepts reports without verifying whether a vaccine actually caused that incident. That makes VAERS a breeding ground for misinformation that spreads quickly on social media and elsewhere. For more than 30 years, VAERS data has been misused to justify broad conclusions that vaccines are harmful.
As for COVID-19, more than 346 million doses of vaccines were administered in the U.S. from Dec. 14, 2020, through Aug. 2, 2021, according to the CDC.
During that period, VAERS received 6,490 reports of death (0.0019%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.
But VAERS reports alone do not indicate whether a vaccine causes a particular adverse effect. They indicate only that a particular event occurred after a vaccination. Researchers can use that data as a starting point to study whether the event is linked to the vaccine.
"A review of available clinical information, including death certificates, autopsy and medical records, has not established a causal link to COVID-19 vaccines," the CDC says.
The claim is inaccurate and unsubstantiated. We rate it False.
TikTok, post, July 18, 2021
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Selected Adverse Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccination," Aug. 2, 2021
PolitiFact, "No proof for speculation that COVID-19 vaccine deaths will rival COVID-19 deaths," June 11, 2021
PolitiFact, "No evidence of 45,000 deaths from COVID-19 vaccines," July 22, 2021
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