Understanding Covid Vaccine Deaths

In 2020, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic put massive stresses onto healthcare systems around the world. As fears of the virus spread, pharmaceutical companies worked at a breakneck pace to develop vaccines to protect against it. With an effective vaccine now available to the general public, many people are interested in its potential risks and complications, including vaccine death. Here, we take an in-depth look at Covid vaccine deaths, what the statistics are, possible causes, and how to reduce the risk.

What Does the Data Show?

Globally, the amount of deaths directly attributed to the Covid-19 vaccine remains very low. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of April 17, 2021, the coronavirus vaccine has been administered to over one billion people worldwide, resulting in only 197 reported vaccine-related deaths – this is less than 0.000002% of recipients.

The precise amount of deaths in the United States has been affected by the way fatalities are reported. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the data collected is “based on death reports submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS),” an online system designed to track and record vaccine-related side effects including even deaths.

As of April 18, 2021, the CDC noted that 8,884 vaccine-related deaths had been reported to VAERS out of more than 224 million received vaccines. Since this number is compiled solely from reports and not officially confirmed, the CDC clarifies that it “might include reports of deaths that have nothing to do with the vaccine.” Though it should be noted, even with this small possibility of false reports, the number of deaths remains tiny in comparison to the total amount of vaccinations administered.

What are Potential Causes of Vaccine Death?

Though vaccinology is still a relatively new field, scientists and medical professionals have since identified several potential factors that could increase an individual’s likelihood of vaccine-related death.

• Age: According to the CDC, the validity of this link isn’t yet known. However, the organization does state that an individual’s chances of facing a more severe reaction to the vaccine does increase as they get older.

• Serious Medical Conditions: Though not addressed in the majority of vaccine studies, research has indicated that people suffering from chronic conditions like diabetes or kidney disease experience higher rates of vaccine-related deaths than those without pre-existing conditions.

• Prior Infection: In a recent study by the Journal of Internal Medicine, the odds of death after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine have been found to be lower in those who had previously been infected with the virus than those who hadn’t.

• Vaccination Timing: A recent study by Johns Hopkins Hospital has suggested that receiving the vaccine too soon after an infection may increase an individual’s chances of facing a severe reaction.

How to Reduce the Risk of Vaccine Death

Most experts agree that the potential risk of death from a Covid-19 vaccine is minuscule, and that the benefits far outweigh the costs. However, there are still ways individuals can take steps to reduce their risk of a negative reaction.

• Discuss your medical history with a healthcare professional before getting vaccinated: Individuals should make sure to talk to their doctor about their medical history and any potential risks before getting vaccinated.

• Stay informed on the data: Though the emergence of new vaccine developments can be exciting, it is important to not rush when considering a vaccine. Vaccines should always be tested and studied before use to avoid any serious complications.

• Know the symptoms of an adverse reaction: The most common signs of a negative reaction to a vaccine include persistent and unusual pain, swelling, and chest pain or tightness.

Though the total number of vaccine-related deaths has increased due to the sheer number of vaccines being distributed globally, it is still proportionally very small. Vaccination is key to controlling the spread of Covid-19, and individuals can reduce their risk of experiencing a negative reaction by talking to their doctor, looking over the data, and being alert to the signs of an adverse effect. There is a potential risk associated with receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, but it remains very small in comparison to the vast benefits it provides.