Fact check: Vaccines did not cause COVID-19 outbreak in New York nursing home

Social media users have been sharing an article that undermines the COVID-19 vaccine by saying 24 people died in a nursing home in Auburn, New York, after it was administered. The article does not mention that the nursing home’s COVID-19 outbreak predated the vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the COVID-19 vaccine does not infect patients with the disease, but those who may have contracted COVID-19 before they are vaccinated can become ill after a vaccination because it takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

The article by the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, entitled A Nursing Home had Zero Coronavirus Deaths. Then, It Vaccinates Residents for Coronavirus and the Deaths Begin, (here) can be found on various sites, some of which change the title to 24 Dead and 137 Infected at NY Nursing Home After Experimental COVID Injections (here , here , here , here) .

Hundreds of social media users have shared the articles (here , here , here , here) and users have commented on the posts saying, “Do not get the Covid Vaccine!”; “JUST SAY NO!”; or “Makes you wonder when everyone who received these injections is going to become ill!” reported that the nursing home started to give vaccinations on Dec. 22 and until Dec. 29, there had been no COVID-19 deaths, but less than two weeks after Dec. 29, 24 residents had died of COVID-19. This article can be seen here . The article specifies that a spokeswoman for the nursing home operators said that the COVID-19 outbreak in The Commons started on Dec. 21, before the vaccinations started.

A spokesperson for Loretto, the company that operates The Commons (here) , told Reuters via email that the nursing home had confirmed coronavirus cases before the vaccines were administered: “Loretto can confirm that the outbreak had 24 positive cases at The Commons by Dec. 21, before Loretto began administering the vaccine on Dec. 22. We certainly wish the vaccines had been available sooner to help prevent the devastation caused by this virus.” They also confirmed to Reuters that the first COVID-19 deaths were reported at the Commons on Dec. 29 and by Jan. 9, 24 COVID-19 deaths had been recorded.

The COVID-19 vaccine cannot make people ill with COVID-19, CDC says on its website: “None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.” (here)

The CDC also says it is possible for a person to be infected just before or just after getting the vaccine and still become ill because “it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination” and the vaccine would not have had “enough time to provide protection.”

Reuters has fact-checked other false claims about the COVID-19 vaccine causing deaths (here , here , here) .


Missing context. Residents of The Commons on St Anthony in Auburn, New York died of COVID-19 after the vaccine was administered, but the COVID-19 outbreak at the nursing home had started before the vaccination began.

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