False: The COVID-19 vaccine causes blood clots.

By: Christian Haag
November 28 2022

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False: The COVID-19 vaccine causes blood clots.


The Verdict False

There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine causes blood clots. However, there is evidence that COVID-19 infection causes blood clots.

Claim ID 67b179ab


The film "Died Suddenly," produced by American media personality Stew Peters, has gained international traction over the last week. It claims, among other things, that the COVID-19 vaccine has caused long fibrous blood clots, which have been found in dead bodies by embalmers in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. John Hirschman, the primary claimant, began recording the occurrence of blood clots in his embalmings in November 2021. He is supported by several other embalmers who all agree that the blood clots started showing up after the vaccinations against COVID-19 started.

In Fact

No scientific evidence supports the claim that COVID-19 vaccines cause blood clots. According to Health Feedback, cases of blood clots due to COVID-19 vaccinations are very rare. They only occur in cases where the individual has received the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Johnson & Johnson saw four cases per million doses and have only been given to a small part of the U.S. population. Most of the embalming cases mentioned by Hirschman have been Americans, and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has not been authorized for use in the U.S. Since Americans haven't received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, it would not explain why Americans have received blood clots. Studies have shown that mRNA vaccines do not increase the risk of blood clots, and some studies have shown evidence that they lower the risk of blood clots altogether.

The claim in "Died Suddenly" relies on anecdotal evidence, asking several embalmers who have found clots in bodies they have embalmed. However, the claim that they found blood clots post-mortem that they had never seen before does not prove the COVID-19 vaccine caused the blood clots. According to a Health Feedback interview with Nickolaus Klupp, Associate Professor in Forensic Medicine at the Medical University in Vienna, simply looking at clots is not enough to determine their origin and role in the individual's death. Klupp believes the clots shown in "Died Suddenly" look like post-mortem clots, a common occurrence where blood clots are formed after death due to refrigeration in the morgue. 

Studies show that blood clots are more likely to be caused by COVID-19 than by the COVID-19 vaccine. A Swedish study found an increased risk of blood clots remained up to six months after being infected with the virus, which could explain why they were found post-mortem. Furthermore, the U.S. national Funeral Directors Association told PolitiFact in January 2022 that embalmers had noticed an increase in blood clots in both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Embalmer Monica Torres also told PolitiFact that abnormal blood clots were found in COVID 19-victims long before the vaccination program began in the U.S. 

The Verdict

There is no scientific evidence for a connection between blood clots and the COVID-19 vaccine, but there is a connection between blood clots and COVID-19 infection. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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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