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Misleading
misleading

CLAIM ID

858e3f47

COVID-19 vaccines increase the risk of death due to COVID-19 for under 50s by up to 177.5 percent.

A Daily Expose article has misinterpreted data from Public Health England to falsely claim that vaccines increase the risk of death.

The Daily Expose, a website that publishes COVID-denialist, anti-vaxxer, and other conspiracy-theory-based content, has claimed that COVID-19 vaccines increase the risk of death due to COVID-19 for those under 50 by up to 177.5 percent.

The article, which refers to COVID-19 vaccines as "COVID-19 injections," claims that, "out of 147,612 alleged confirmed cases of the Delta Covid-19 variant in the unvaccinated group of under 50’s there have been 48 deaths. This equates to 0.03% of all cases in the unvaccinated under 50’s resulting in death. However, out of 25,536 confirmed cases of the Delta variant in the fully vaccinated group of under 50’s there have been 13 deaths. This equates to 0.05% of all cases in the fully vaccinated under 50’s resulting in death."

The article uses this data, which is from a Public Health England document available to view online, to allege that vaccinated people are more likely to die from COVID-19. The document is titled: "SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England Technical briefing 20."

This analysis is misleading. The number of vaccinated people who get COVID-19 is smaller than the number of unvaccinated people who get COVID-19. COVID-19 infections are actually three times lower in double vaccinated people, as Imperial College London reported in August 2021.

The article also claims that "the risk of death is actually even worse for those unlucky enough to end up in hospital." It is unsurprising that those who wind up in a hospital tend to be very unwell, and unsurprising that very unwell people are more likely to die.

In July, a similar claim did the rounds about a previous technical briefing. Reuters then spoke to Dr. Muge Cevik, a lecturer in infectious diseases and medical virology at the University of St Andrews, who told the news outlet, “When most people are vaccinated, most infections and deaths are expected to be among those vaccinated."

In the U.K., over 77 percent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Though the COVID-19 vaccines are not 100 percent effective, they are highly effective at preventing serious disease and hospitalization. In June, Public Health England reported that, with regards to the Delta variant, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96 percent effective against hospitalization after two doses, and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 percent effective against hospitalization after two doses.

It is important that those under 50 get vaccinated against COVID-19. As the BBC has reported, "Younger people are less likely to die from Covid-19. But at the beginning of August, a fifth of those in hospital in England [were] aged 18-34."

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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