No, 20 million global deaths haven't been directly attributed to COVID-19 vaccines

By: Arron Williams
April 19 2023

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No, 20 million global deaths haven't been directly attributed to COVID-19 vaccines


The Verdict False

Data from VAERS and EudraVigilance does not show that Covid-19 vaccines caused 20 million global deaths or 2.2 billion adverse effects.

Claim ID 843cdc20


A video and post shared on Facebook with over 3,000 views claim that government data shows 20 million deaths globally have been attributed to and caused by COVID-19 vaccines. The claim states the same data confirms that COVID-19 vaccines have also caused 2.2 billion adverse reactions. 

In Fact

No data or evidence suggests the COVID-19 vaccines have caused 20 million deaths globally. 

The original source of the claim is from an anti-vax blog on Substack, not from any credible news source. The blog contains posts pushing various other conspiracy theories about the vaccines and the January 6 Capitol Attack. The blog critiques estimates in the medical journal The Lancet that the COVID-19 vaccine has saved 20 million lives, going on to use flawed and assumptive analysis to assert that the vaccines have directly caused 20 million deaths. Logically Facts could find no research or studies to support this claim. 

The blog uses data from the U.S. vaccine early warning system VAERS and the European database of suspected adverse drug reactions, EudraVigiliance. It takes figures from the number of deaths reported following COVID-19 vaccination and reports of adverse effects to reach a total of 60,791 deaths and 6.9 million injuries. The blog then multiplies by 40 to account for an "Under-Reporting Multiplier" and then by eight for "globalization." However, even before considering the unexplained formula for calculation, there is a flaw as the blog uses the data to misattribute causation, despite the data itself not confirming causes of death or adverse effects.

Both VAERS and EudraVigilance stress that the data they provide does not imply causation and cannot suggest the vaccine caused an adverse effect. VAERS states, "VAERS is not designed to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event. A report to VAERS does not mean the vaccine caused the event." EudraVigilance states that it records suspected side effects such as medical events that "have been observed following the administration of the COVID-19 vaccines, but which are not necessarily related to or caused by the vaccine." 

Anyone can submit a report to VAERS, which may contain information that is "incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental or unverifiable." For this reason, the data the blog uses to form its figures cannot be used to suggest that vaccines are responsible for 20 million deaths or 2.2 billion adverse effects. The blog's conclusion lacks validation and is inherently flawed. The formula of underreporting and globalization is not credible because it is not based on any kind of official criteria or estimates. There is no evidence that the underreported number of deaths is 40 times the reported number. Logically has contacted the CDC and EMA for further information on VAERS and EudraVigiliance figures but has yet to receive a response.

Logically Facts has previously investigated similar false anti-vax claims that have misrepresented data from the U.K.’s Office For National Statistics to suggest that the COVID-19 vaccines have killed more people than the virus itself. 

The Verdict

There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are the direct cause of 20 million global deaths or 2.2 billion adverse reactions. The claim relies on the misrepresentation of data. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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