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Fact Check-COVID-19 vaccination does not increase risk of miscarriage 

A blog shared widely on social media claims COVID-19 vaccines have led thousands of women to miscarry. The blog relies on unconfirmed reports. There has not been an increased risk of miscarriage among people who received COVID-19 vaccines just before or during pregnancy, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the director of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine Division have said.

“Over 4000 Women have now lost their baby due to the Covid Vaccine in the USA; this is a 16,633% increase on the number of Fetus deaths caused by the Flu Jabs since 1990,” one of the posts reads here.

The blog claims (here “The number of women who have lost their unborn or new-born child in the USA following Covid-19 vaccination has now surpassed 4,000 just sixteen months after the first Covid jab was given emergency use authorisation.”

The blog uses data from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), which monitors suspected adverse reactions to vaccines. The “total number of fetal deaths” following COVID-19 vaccination for the past 16 months was 4,023 after more than 100 new “cases” were added on Apr. 8, 2021, the blog said.

The blog also compares the figure to VAERS miscarriage figures following flu vaccination since 1990, claiming the number of miscarriages related to flu vaccines is 565. This suggests COVID-19 vaccines are more dangerous or causing miscarriages at a higher rate when compared with flu vaccines.

The article then goes on to say that the number of women who lost their baby due to COVID-19 vaccination is “16,633% higher than the number of women who have lost their baby due to the Flu jab [sic]” but that “in reality” the number would be higher given the flu jab has been administered for several decades.

The CDC told Reuters that it had not seen an increase in reported cases of miscarriage following the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, or any indication that vaccination is raising the rate of spontaneous abortions or stillbirths.

“We have not found unexpected or unusual increased reporting of any adverse event nor increased reporting rates for adverse events during pregnancy, including spontaneous abortion or stillbirths following COVID-19 vaccination, compared to background rates,” a CDC spokesperson said via email.

They said: “This means that we see rates of spontaneous abortions and stillbirths, that are similar to those we saw before the pandemic or that we see among pregnant women without vaccination. We see no indication that vaccination is raising the rate of either.”

A recent VAERS analysis did not find increased reporting for miscarriage following COVID-19 vaccination (https:/www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X22004479).

Spontaneous abortion (pregnancy loss up to week 20 of pregnancy, also known as miscarriage) was the most common pregnancy-specific adverse event reported to VAERS, the CDC said. But spontaneous abortion is “relatively common affecting up to 20% of all pregnancies,” the CDC added.

A study of the CDC’s v-safe COVID-19 vaccine pregnancy registry also found that the risk of spontaneous abortion after an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to be around 13% -- consistent with expected background rates (here).

Data from VAERS alone cannot prove a vaccine caused a problem, the CDC spokesperson said.

“Given the limitations of VAERS any findings from VAERS data need to be interpreted with caution,” they said.

VAERS data does not show confirmed adverse events or the cause of symptoms reported, according to the CDC. The database is a national system to which anyone, including patients, family members and healthcare providers, including vaccine manufacturers, can report possible side effects. Reports are not independently verified or assessed for causality before being entered into the system.

The CDC spokesperson told Reuters: “As an early warning system, VAERS is not designed to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event and the data reported from this system alone cannot prove that a vaccine caused a problem.

“Specifically, a report to VAERS does not mean that a vaccine caused the adverse event.”

Dr. Jeanne Sheffield, director of the Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine Division and professor at the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, said VAERS was a “passive reporting system, not automatic.”

She said via email: “For any reported event, no cause and effect is established. The adverse event may be coincidental or caused by the vaccine. These reports are also unverified.

“To date, there is no clear data signal for an increase in fetal death from the Covid-19 vaccine as compared to the general fetal loss rate.

Sheffield flagged a statement by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which says no COVID-19 vaccines available for use under emergency use authorization or FDA license cause infertility or spontaneous abortion (here).

She said that by Feb. 14, 2022, over 200,000 pregnancies had been reported to the CDC post-vaccine health checker.

Dr. Sheffield added: “There have been no specific safety signals in pregnant patients.

“There has been no increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes including spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) over the known baseline population risk.”

VERDICT

False. Reporting of miscarriages following COVID-19 vaccination has not increased compared to background rates, based on studies and the CDC.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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