False: Recent articles covering children's death prove that COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe for children.

By: Devika Kandelwal
February 7 2022

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False: Recent articles covering children's death prove that COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe for children.


The Verdict False

Currently, no known deaths among teenagers in the U.K. have been linked to COVID-19 vaccines.

Claim ID a0905554

Currently, no known deaths among teenagers in the U.K. have been linked to COVID-19 vaccines. A Facebook post features 15 photos, each with information about a child's death in the U.K. The post implies that these children died due to COVID-19 vaccines, and the caption of the post reads, "WHY WHY WHY WOULD YOU LET YOUR KID HAVE THAT SH#T." The post was shared on October 19 and has been viewed over 60k times on Facebook in the last 24 hours. To check this post, we investigated each photo shared and determine whether COVID-19 vaccines led to that child's death. The first image is of an 11-year-old girl who died of a cardiac arrest in Leicestershire. The name of the girl was not disclosed. According to reports, what caused her cardiac arrest is unknown, and a file has been prepared for HM Coroner. Nowhere do the reports suggest that the COVID-19 vaccine was responsible for her death. The second image is of a teenage student from Lynn secondary school who died suddenly. The name of the student was not disclosed. Reuters fact-checked whether the death was related to COVID-19 vaccines and reported that "the unexpected death of the Year 10 student is unrelated to COVID-19 vaccines, his school and local health authorities say." The third image is about a sixth-form student from Essex who passed away. The name of the girl was not disclosed. According to reports, the girl died unexpectedly in her sleep. No further details about the girl's death have been disclosed at this stage. There is absolutely no evidence that her death was related to COVID-19 vaccines. The fourth image is about the pandemic in the U.K. and how cases are soaring in the country at the moment, which is true. However, the rising number of cases does not mean that COVID-19 vaccines are not working, and the headline misses key context. Even though the numbers are high, the BBC reported that hospital admissions are low. The rise in cases is partly attributed to people not wearing masks anymore nor practicing social distancing. Moreover, while vaccines have been proven to save lives and reduce hospitalizations, the vaccine's protection against catching the virus wanes significantly after five or six months. U.K. health minister Sajid Javid said that "the 5 million people aged over 16 who have not had a vaccine dose needed to get one, and those already vaccinated needed to take up booster shots when offered." The fifth image is about the death of a 17-year-old boy, Sean Hartman, who recently died unexpectedly. According to reports, he did receive the Pfizer vaccine in September this year, but the cause of death is not yet known, as the family is waiting for an autopsy report. Since the cause is not known, we cannot say for certain that the vaccination is related to his death or not. The sixth image is about the death of a 17-year-old boy, Jak Fraser, who passed away in Glasgow in July. The death could not have been related to COVID-19 vaccination because vaccines were only approved for 12 to 17-year-olds in Scotland in October 2021. Teenagers were not eligible for vaccination as of July 2021. The seventh image is about the death of a 17-year-old hairdresser, Maddy Campbell, who suddenly passed away in Colchester. The cause of her death is unknown, as the postmortem examination was inconclusive. There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines caused her death. The eighth image is about the death of a 16-year-old girl, Kamrynn Soleil Thomas, who passed away from a pulmonary embolism on March 30, 2021. According to reports, mostly on anti-vax websites, Thomas got the Pfizer vaccine in March; however, her obituary does not include any information on the COVID-19 vaccine. Many anti-vax websites link to the VAERS website to support their claim that she died because of the vaccine. However, VAERS data is unverified and does not prove that she died from the Pfizer vaccine. The ninth image is about the death of Giulia Lucenti, a 13-year-old girl who died a couple of days after she received the second dose of her COVID-19 vaccine. While it has not been proven that she died due to the vaccine as the autopsy has not been complete, the girl had mitral (bicuspid) valve prolapse, a congenital cardiac abnormality, information which is missing from the Facebook post. The cause of her death is currently unknown. The tenth and the eleventh images are about the sudden demise of a boy named Harry Sendell. The post clearly says that the cause of his death is unknown, and keyword search does not give any results explaining what caused his death. Many anti-vax sites have attributed his death to the COVID-19 vaccine but have not presented any proof of the same. The twelfth image is a screenshot of a chat on Telegram which claims that COVID-19 vaccines are responsible for thousands of deaths in children and teenagers. I do not know where the data in the screenshot is from, but it is not true. According to AP News, "experts said no known deaths among teenagers in the U.K. have been linked to COVID-19 vaccines." The thirteenth image is about the death of a 17-year-old boy called Adam Ali. Many attributed Ali's death to a COVID-19 vaccine and claimed that he died of blood clots. However, according to AP News, "Ali, a 17-year-old student who died in September, had not been vaccinated against COVID-19. The cause of death is unknown, according to a spokesperson from the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS." The fourteenth image is about Craig Darce, who passed away in September 2021. However, he did not die of the COVID-19 vaccine. Darce, who was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 14, suffered a suspected epileptic seizure and died at home. The fifteenth image is about a French girl named Sofia Benharira, who passed away a few days after getting the Pfizer vaccine. Currently, no autopsy report has yet been published regarding the girl's death, and therefore it cannot be ascertained that she died because of the vaccine. It is misleading to claim that teenagers are only dying right now because of COVID-19 vaccines. Reports of deaths of teenagers show that there are multiple causes from which a teenager can die. It is imperative to investigate the reason behind someone's death before we attribute it to the vaccines. It stokes widespread fear and discourages people from taking COVID-19 vaccines, which has actually proven to protect people against death and hospitalization. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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