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Fact Check-Guns have killed more people than COVID-19 vaccines

Social media users are falsely claiming that more people have been killed in the past year by COVID-19 vaccines than they have been by guns.

Examples can be seen (here) and (here).

The claim is being shared in an image that reads: “JUST A QUICK REMINDER… MORE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED THIS YEAR BY VACCINES THAN THEY HAVE BY GUNS. WHERE IS THE PUBLIC OUTCRY?”

Comments on the posts include: “Was not aware of this statistic, so if accurate, I agree with you!! We just need to know the FACTS!!”, “The problem is the majority of people don’t believe the vaccines are killing people. They have been brainwashed” and “I agree! Hey swamp creatures, leave our guns alone and BAN VACCINES!”

COVID-19 VACCINE DEATHS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains on its website (here) that the Food and Drug Administration requires healthcare professionals to report any deaths following COVID-19 vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

Among more than 591 million doses of the vaccine administered in the United States from Dec. 14, 2020 until June 13, 2022, VAERS received 15,066 preliminary reports of deaths (0.0025%) in people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.

VAERS reports do not mean a vaccine caused death or adverse events, however.

The VAERS website includes disclaimers that the reports may contain “incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable” information and requires users acknowledge these limitations. However, many social media posts have repeatedly failed to mention that reports in VAERS can be entered by anybody and are not deemed to show a causal connection to a vaccine until verified by the CDC.

More on how the database has led to misinformation during the pandemic can be read (here).

The CDC has identified nine deaths causally associated with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in its monitoring to date (here ) and does not list any other confirmed causally associated deaths from other COVID-19 vaccines. It continues to investigate reports.

GUN DEATHS

Gun violence archive, a non-profit website that tracks gun violence each year in the United States (www.gunviolencearchive.org/), found that 278 people had died in mass shootings in 2022 as of June 21, and 692 in 2021.

Reuters has reported on a number of recent shootings, visible (here), (here), (here).

A gunman in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 children and two teachers on May 24, 10 days after another gunman murdered 10 Black people in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store in a racist attack (here).

VERDICT

False. More people have died from gun violence than from COVID-19 vaccines.

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

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