Did Australia Admit 79,000 People Had Vaccine Side Effects?

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Did the government of Australia just admit that at least 79,000 people had vaccine side effects like pericarditis?

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : Australia Admitted 79,000 People Had Vaccine Side Effects!

People have been sharing this scary message on WhatsApp, with a link to a YouTube video from the Australian news outlet, 7NEWS :

The Australian government has admitted there have been at least 79,000 COVID-19 vaccine side effects and is now offering compensation to those seriously injured


Truth : Australia Did Not Admit 79,000 People Had Vaccine Side Effects

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS that uses real news to mislead people, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Video Tells A Different Story From Viral Message

The video is genuine, and is a 7NEWS report from 29 December 2021, which you can view above.

The fake news creator used it to “sell” the fake news, because he/she knows that 99% of those who read the fake news won’t bother to actually watch the video.

In fact, most will assume that 79,000 people in Australia developed pericarditis from COVID-19 vaccines!

The video actually talks about one man’s experience getting pericarditis from the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and how he did not qualify for the federal government’s compensation.

Fact #2 : He Did Not Get Hospitalised Overnight For Pericarditis

The man in the 7NEWS report, Matty John, was admitted to the hospital twice for pericarditis, but in both cases – he did not even need to stay overnight (1:35 in the video).

Hence, he did not qualify for the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme.

According to the TGA, myocarditis and pericarditis from vaccines is “often mild, and cases usually resolve after a few days with treatment and rest“.

Did Pfizer Add Heart Attack Drug To COVID Vaccine For Kids?

Fact #3 : Australian Government Did Not Admit 79,000 People Had Side Effects

To be clear – the Australian government never said that 79,000 people had side effects from the vaccine. It was an estimate mentioned in the news report.

At 0:46 of the video, the reporter clearly said, “It is estimated that 79,000 people had suffered adverse reactions to vaccines“.

Fact #4 : Less Than 2,000 People In Australia Had Pericarditis From Vaccines

As of 19 December 2021, Australia administered 27.7 million doses of mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, and just under 2,000 reported cases of pericarditis.

Even if all reported (but not confirmed) pericarditis cases are considered as related to the mRNA vaccines, that’s an incidence rate of 0.0072%.

The truth is – people do get pericarditis even without vaccination. So the true incidence rate is much lower than “suspected”.

Pericarditis Pfizer Comirnaty
26.2 million doses
Moderna Spikevax
1.5 million doses
All 12-17 yo All 12-17 yo
Suspected Cases 1,860
140 131
Likely Cases 720
60 46

Fact #5 : COVID-19 Causes More Pericarditis Than Vaccines!

What antivaxxers don’t tell you is that – COVID-19 causes A LOT more cases of pericarditis than vaccines.

This 14 December 2021 study published in Nature look at the outcome of over 38 million people in the United Kingdom from COVID-19 and vaccination.

For your convenience, I summarised their pericarditis findings in this table :

People 3,028,867 11,972,733 19,754,224
Pericarditis 106 52 91
0.0035% 0.00043% 0.00046%
In Risk
Baseline 8.14x
lower risk
lower risk

From their findings, COVID-19 infections causes 8X more cases of pericarditis than a COVID-19 vaccine.

It should be obvious by this point that, if you are worried about pericarditis, then you should definitely GET VACCINATED against COVID-19!


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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