By: Gayathri Loka
November 15 2022
The Expose misquoted data from the ONS to make it appear that Pfizer vaccines are increasing the number of stillbirths.
An article by The Expose on November 6, 2022, is circulating on social media alongside claims that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines kill people and cause infertility, cancer, and stillbirths. It states that Pfizer documents and government reports show that COVID-19 vaccinations cause harm, such as destroying people's immune systems, increasing death rates, and causing infertility, stillbirths, and cancer. The Expose is a website known for spreading anti-vaccine sentiments and conspiracy theories. Although it refers to the information published by the U.K. Office for National Statistics (ONS) regarding stillbirths after people were administered COVID-19 vaccines, it misquotes the data.
Analyzing the data cited in the article, we saw that ONS discussed births in England and Wales in 2021. This information only talks about the number of live births, stillbirths, and the intensity of childbearing, measured by the total fertility rate. The data observes stillbirths from 1971 to 2021. It does not mention whether stillbirth rates were affected by COVID-19 vaccinations in 2021. According to ONS, in 2021, there were 624,828 live births in England and Wales. There were 2,597 stillbirths in 2021, an increase of 226 from 2020. Though the data showed a rise in stillbirths from 2020 to 2021, it has yet to be stated that there is a direct correlation to COVID-19 vaccinations. The ONS did not mention the cause of stillbirths.
In August 2022, the British Medical Journal published a study titled "Risk of preterm birth, small for gestational age at birth, and stillbirth after COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy." The study observed 85,000 births, of which 43,000 were vaccinated during pregnancy where reduction in stillbirths was observed among vaccinated people. The cumulative incidence of stillbirth was 0.25 percent among births to individuals who received one dose or more of a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy and 0.44 percent among births to unvaccinated individuals.
In May 2022, The Lancet studied the effect of mRNA vaccines during pregnancy and observed that those vaccinated during pregnancy "did not experience higher adverse pregnancy or neonatal outcomes when compared to historical data on background risks in the obstetric population." The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) observed the risk of pregnancy in women with and without COVID-19 between 2020- 2021 and noted that women with COVID-19 were at higher risk for stillbirth than those without COVID-19. It advised women to be vaccinated before or during pregnancy, which is critical in reducing the risk of stillbirth due to COVID-19 infection.
There are no reports by Pfizer or any government that state COVID-19 vaccines increase infertility, cancer, or stillbirths. The data from the wesbite for Public Health Scotland was used to illustrate a rise in ovarian cancer in people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. On analyzing the website, it’s clear that it is a site to help inform citizens about the general public healthcare system in Scotland. It does not mention any data about increased rates of cancer due to COVID-19 vaccines..
The Expose cited a study by Andrology, a medical journal, to state that COVID-19 vaccines cause a reduction in sperm count. It was observed that there might be a selective temporary decline of sperm concentration for around three months post-vaccination. However, the study concluded by stating that for the long term, they still advise vaccination and confirm that COVID-19 vaccines are safe..
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to pregnant women or those planning on getting pregnant. WHO deems the vaccine to be safe. Logically and other credible organizations have previously debunked claims by The Expose, which said COVID-19 vaccines cause cancer and infertility.
Medical studies have observed that COVID-19 vaccines do not cause stillbirths, infertility, or cancer. The Expose misquoted data to make it appear that COVID-19 vaccines increased the stillbirth rate in 2021 compared to the previous year. Pregnant women are advised to take COVID-19 vaccines to prevent stillbirths and other complications that might occur from contratcting the virus. Hence, we have marked this claim as false.