Fact Check-Video claiming COVID-19 vaccine left 13,627 dead and 17,794 disabled is sourced from unverified VAERS data

A video being shared online claims that COVID-19 vaccines took 13,627 lives and left 17,794 people disabled. The numbers are sourced from the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event System (VAERS) reporting system, where reports do not prove causality.

The video (here) includes text that reads, “When someone thinks I should take a [needle emoji] that has already taken 13,627 lives, and has caused 17,794 to be permanently disabled.”

Comments on the post include “Not doing it!”, and clapping and celebratory emojis.

A journalist mentioned these two numbers from Aug. 20, 2021 in a tweet (here) posted on Aug. 27, 2021, also adding: “Of these 13,627 deaths reported as of August 20, 6,128 were reported from U.S. states and territories or a location reported as unknown and 7,499 from foreign locations.” (here)

These numbers are based on reports entered into the VAERS reporting system, not actual adverse events and deaths confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As shown , VAERS welcomes healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the public to submit reports to the system. However, it warns that data found on the site “may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable”.

As stated by the CDC here , “Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem.”

According to CDC guidance listed on its page reporting adverse events from COVID-19 vaccines here , there have been 6,968 reports of death (0.0019%) recorded from December 14, 2020, to August 23, 2021 "among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine". It is important to note that the "FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS, even if it is unclear whether the vaccine was the cause”.

Reuters has debunked similar claims that VAERS data implies causality, here and here .


Missing context. The numbers mentioned in the video are from the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event System (VAERS) reporting system, and the reports do not prove causality.

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