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A healthcare worker prepares a Pfizer vaccine in Katlehong, South Africa, Oct. 1, 2021. (AP/Themba Hadebe) A healthcare worker prepares a Pfizer vaccine in Katlehong, South Africa, Oct. 1, 2021. (AP/Themba Hadebe)

A healthcare worker prepares a Pfizer vaccine in Katlehong, South Africa, Oct. 1, 2021. (AP/Themba Hadebe)

Gabrielle Settles
By Gabrielle Settles October 1, 2021

Report shares wildly unfounded claims on COVID-19 vaccine

If Your Time is short

  • Claims that millions of people have died from the COVID-19 vaccine are unfounded. The claim is based on a misreading of sources that include the U.S. government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and Europe’s EudraVigilance databases

  • Both systems are federal databases in which any potential adverse health effects from vaccines and medicines are reported.

  • Both systems warn that reports do not prove on their own that a vaccine caused an adverse health event, and should not be used as a primary source. 

A 52-page report from a pair of anti-vaccine advocates claims to present the truth about COVID-19 vaccines. However, it does just the opposite.

The website Stop World Control published the so-called Vaccine Death Report in September 2021, and it was shared across Facebook, including in this Sept. 26 post. It is written by David Sorenson and Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a New York doctor who made headlines for prescribing hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 even though health authorities cautioned against it.

The report claims that "millions have died from COVID injections" around the world, and includes narratives from the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and Brazil to back up this claim.

On top of that, it claims that half a million people within the United States have suffered severe side effects such as strokes, heart failure, brain disorders, convulsions and more.

"The data shows that we are currently witnessing the greatest organized mass murder in the history of our world," the report states. 

The alarming findings cite databases like the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and others. But the report misinterpreted the data to draw unfounded conclusions about the vaccines.

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, also called VAERS, is an official public government database where anyone can submit any potential adverse health effect following a vaccine. However, the reports are not verified, and the system itself warns that reports can contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental or unverifiable. When used improperly, VAERS can be a source for misinformation.

Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccination are rare. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not verified any deaths as a result of the vaccines approved in the United States. Researchers are still evaluating whether there is a connection between the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and rare types of blood clots, but such cases are few. 

More than 390 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the U.S., with 55.6% of Americans fully vaccinated. CDC spokesperson Martha Sharan said the FDA requires health care providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS, even if it’s unclear if the vaccine was the cause. The CDC states that VAERS has received 8,164 reports of deaths following a vaccine, or 0.0021%. That’s far lower than the claims from the vaccine death report. However, that’s still unsubstantiated given that VAERS reports do not conclude if a vaccine caused an adverse event. More evidence is needed.

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Sharan said that serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are "extremely unlikely following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination(s)."

"COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective," she said. "COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the (FDA’s) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support approval or authorization of a vaccine."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration told Reuters that under reporting is a limitation in VAERS in regards to COVID-19 vaccines, but "there currently is not evidence to suggest it would underestimate the amount of COVID-19 vaccine-related deaths to such a large degree." 

Outside of the U.S. the report on Stop World Control cites other sources like EudraVigilance, the European database counterpart to VAERS. The report states that according to EudraVigilance, 22,000 people died from vaccines and 2 million suffered adverse events — but the database itself warns that its information contains "suspected side effects" that may not have been caused by the medicine. "Only a detailed evaluation and scientific assessment of all available data allows for robust conclusions to be drawn on the benefits and risks of a medicine," the system states.

The death report includes narratives from Facebook users and people from around the world who claim that they or someone they knew died or suffered serious adverse events from the COVID-19 vaccines. These narratives do not provide context or substantial evidence to back up these claims. 


Our ruling

A report written by anti-vaccine advocates on a website called Stop World Control made claims that the COVID-19 vaccine has killed millions of people. 

This report cites sources such as the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, an official database to which anyone can report any kind of adverse health event following a vaccine. VAERS reports are not analyzed for accuracy, and may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate or coincidental. Europe’s EudraVigilance is a similar system to VAERS and issues the same warning about its own reports. No credible source suggests that millions of people have died from vaccines. 

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

Our Sources, The Vaccine Death Report, Sept. 2021

Facebook post, Sept. 26, 2021

Demogog, Vaccines as Bill Gates' Depopulation Tool? False theory, Mar. 8, 2021

The New York Times, Touting Virus Cure, ‘Simple Country Doctor’ Becomes a Right-Wing Star, April 2, 2020

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, VAERS Data Disclaimer, accessed Sept. 30, 2021

PolitiFact, Federal VAERS database is a critical tool for researchers, but a breeding ground for misinformation, May 3, 2021

CDC National Center for Immunization & Respiratory Diseases, Update: Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) following COVID-19 vaccination, May 12, 2021

CDC, COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States, accessed Oct. 1, 2021

Renz Law, 45K Death Count from COVID Shot Lawsuit document, filed Jul 19, 2021

PolitiFact, No evidence of 45,000 deaths from COVID-19 vaccines, Jul 22, 2021

Reuters Fact Check-COVID-19 vaccines do not kill more people than they save; FDA experts did not make this false claim, Sept. 23, 2021

EudraVigilance, accessed Oct. 1, 2021

EudraVigilance, Online access to suspected side-effect reports, accessed Oct. 1, 2021

Email interview with CDC spokesperson Martha Sharan, Oct. 1, 2021 

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Report shares wildly unfounded claims on COVID-19 vaccine

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