Studies included in the list do not call into question COVID-19 vaccine safety
Studies included in the list do not call into question COVID-19 vaccine safety

Studies included in the list do not call into question COVID-19 vaccine safety

An Australian blog proclaiming “medical freedom” published a misleading list of COVID-19 vaccine safety.

The headline on January 20th list reads: “1,000 peer-reviewed studies questioning COVID-19 vaccine safety.”

The list was shared on Facebook and marked as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news and misinformation on its news feed. (Read more about our collaboration with Facebook.)

It was published on Informed Choice Australia, which describes itself as “a portal of information that helps you make the right choice,” and says that people have the right to “reject any treatment that has not completed all the necessary clinical trials, including long-term studies. “

Far from “questioning COVID-19 vaccine safety,” as the claim goes, many studies included in this catalog clearly state that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the small risk of side effects, which are rare. The studies collect, interpret and evaluate data on adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines according to the process of scientific research.

The list is grouped by side effect categories, with myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle – at the top of the list and 226 related studies cited for that category. That risk of myocarditis from COVID-19 vaccines Is small and the symptoms are usually mild. In comparison, the incidence of COVID-19 “is a strong and significant risk factor for myocarditis,” especially among children under 16 years of age, According to the CDC.

The very first study on the list, which examined four patients with myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination, states: “The authors seek not to frustrate vaccination efforts, but rather to prepare patients and providers for a rare but potentially adverse effect.”

Among the first 10 listed studies, almost every single one included similar languages. One of the studies puts it this way: “Cases tend to be mild, usually do not require specific intervention, and potential risks of the vaccine are outweighed by the well-defined risks of COVID-19 infection.”

For other categories of adverse reactions, the list again pointed to studies that did not question the safety of COVID-19 vaccines:

  • For cerebral venous thrombosis, a blood clot in the brain, one of the cited studies says that the frequency of this reaction after COVID-19 vaccination is “significantly lower” than for patients admitted with COVID-19.

  • For anaphylaxis, en Allergic reaction which causes the airways to narrow and block breathing, one of the studies said, “The risk of anaphylaxis to mRNA vaccines is present but extremely low and outweighed by the benefits of the vaccine.”

The blog says it includes 1,000 studies, but some studies appear more than once under different categories of side effects. For example, a study is found under both the categories of anaphylaxis and allergic reactions, and several studies are shown under both the myocarditis and pericarditis subcategories.

One side effect mentioned, called Sweets Syndrome – a painful rash – cites a single study of a person.

Our verdict

A list published on a blog has a headline that says, “1,000 peer-reviewed studies questioning COVID-19 vaccine safety.”

Many studies on the list clearly state that the benefits of vaccination against COVID-19 far outweigh the small risk of side effects, which are rare.

The list says it includes 1,000 studies, but some studies are on the list more than once under different categories of side effects.

We consider this claim to be false.


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