Did COVID-19 Vaccines Cause 17 Million Deaths?!

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Did researchers discover that COVID-19 vaccines were “causally linked” to 17 million deaths?!

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

Updated @ 2024-01-09 : Refreshed for the revival of this claim on social media
Originally posted @ 2023-10-03


Claim : COVID-19 Vaccines Caused 17 Million Deaths!

People are sharing an article by The Epoch Times which claims or suggests that COVID-19 vaccines did not save lives, but instead, resulted in 17 million deaths in 17 countries!

Here is an excerpt of The Epoch Times article. Feel free to skip to the next section for the facts:

Researchers Find COVID Vaccines Causally Linked to Increased Mortality, Estimate 17 Million Deaths

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Truth : COVID-19 Vaccines Did Not Cause 17 Million Deaths!

In this article, I will go through some of their points, and show you what the facts really are!

Fact #1 : It Was A Self-Published Report

First, let’s start by pointing out that the paper in question (PDF download) is not a published scientific report, but a self-published report by Correlation Research in the Public Interest.

As far as we can tell, it has not been submitted to any scientific or medical journal for publication. Even if a scientific report has not been peer-reviewed, it would be available as a pre-print.

Fact #2 : It Has Not Been Peer-Reviewed

There is also no indication that this report has undergone even the basic peer review process. In fact, The Epoch Times confirmed this at the end of their very long article.

It’s important to note the scientific report has not yet been peer-reviewed. Articles that are ultimately accepted by peer review are often revised prior to publication, indicating potential for improvement.

In other words – subject matter experts have yet to inspect their data and findings, never mind verify and authenticate them. Perhaps this should have been mentioned right from the start?

Fact #3 : World Mortality Dataset Covers 103-124 Countries

The World Mortality Dataset (WMD) is a public database maintained by two researchers – Ariel Kaplinsky and Dmitry Kobak, that has been tracking the mortality rates of 103 countries since January 2021. They later expanded their data to cover 124 countries.

It is peculiar that Correlation Research in the Public Interest would focus only on 17 countries, out of 103-124 countries in the World Mortality Dataset. Why not look at ALL countries covered by the WMD data?

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Fact #4 : There Was No Causal Link To Vaccines

The World Mortality Dataset is a big and critical tool for tracking all cause mortality for many countries around the world. However, it is ultimately just a database of all-cause mortality.

There is no way it can be used to demonstrate the causality of any particular cause of death. After all, it only tracks all-cause mortality! It doesn’t differentiate between death from a car accident or a fall, from death from COVID-19, or death from a vaccine injury.

Hence, if you go through the long Correlation Research report (180 pages!!), you don’t see an actual causal link between those spikes in deaths, and COVID-19 vaccines (or any other potential cause of death).

Fact #5 : Eurostat Data Shows Vaccination Reduced Excess Mortality

Perhaps the reason why the European countries were left out of this Correlation Research report is because the Eurostat data showed a strong correlation between high COVID-19 vaccination rates and low excess mortality.

In this chart provided by @dobssi, you can see that the 2021 excess mortality is much lower in countries with high vaccination rates, than countries with low vaccination rates.

Interestingly, two of those highly-vaccinated countries are Australia and New Zealand, both of which had low excess mortality rates in 2021.

The Eurostats data appear to show that Australia has only a small spike in excess death, while New Zealand actually had LOWER excess deaths after vaccinating its population. Imagine that…

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2021 Excess Mortality Comparison Vaccinated vs Unvaccinated

Fact #6 : Those Countries Have Seasons

The report claim to look at 17 equatorial and Southern Hemisphere countries because they have “no summer and winter seasons”, so there won’t be “seasonal variations” in their mortality patterns.

But the truth is – countries in equatorial and southern hemispheres have at least two seasons, instead of four seasons typically seen in the Northern Hemisphere.

Take Thailand, for example – a tropical country that evokes images of sandy beaches and warm weather. Well, Thailand actually has three seasons:

  • a wet season that runs from May to October,
  • a cool season that runs from November to February, and
  • a hot season that runs from March May

Its capital, Bangkok, itself experiences wide variations in temperature throughout the year – from as low as 21°C in the winter, to as high as 37°C in the summer.

And how exactly does proximity to the equator affect the SARS-CoV-2 virus or the COVID-19 vaccine??

Fact #7 : Those Countries Have Different Vaccination Rates

It is hard to understand why those 17 countries were chosen out of 103-124 countries in the World Mortality Dataset. Especially when they have different vaccination rates.

Yes, the report states that these countries comprise 9.1% of the global population and 10.3% of all COVID-19 vaccine injections. That gives us the impression that they are all highly-vaccinated countries.

That’s really not the case. These countries have very different vaccination rates, ranging from 44% to 97%!

Country 1 Dose ≥ 2 Doses
Argentina 14% 77%
Australia 2% 95%
Bolivia 60%
Brazil 6% 82%
Chile 2% 90%
Colombia 12% 72%
Ecuador 85%
Malaysia 2% 84%
New Zealand 1% 95%
Paraguay 56%
Peru 6% 83%
Philippines 79%
Singapore 1% 92%
South Africa 46%
Suriname 3% 44%
Thailand 5% 78%
Uruguay 5% 83%

If they did not select those countries for their high vaccination rate, then why choose those countries and not the dozens of other countries located near the equator?

Why not pick large countries like Indonesia or India? Why not pick small countries like Brunei or Maldives? Why pick South Africa when there are many other African countries much closer to the equator?

Did they cherry-pick those countries because their data fitted the narrative, or was it something else?

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Fact #8 : World Mortality Dataset Study Identified COVID-19 As Cause

The two researchers who maintained the World Mortality Dataset (WMD) actually published a peer-reviewed study in the eLife journal, on 30 June 2021.

Unlike this Correlation Research report, this was an actual peer-reviewed study, published in a journal and the NIH National Library of Medicine. It was also written by the two people who knows the WMD database best – the very people maintaining and updating it!

Both Ariel Kaplinsky and Dmitry Kobak used their WMD data to look at the impact of COVID-19 on the all-cause mortality from 103 countries, and here was what they found:

We found that in several worst-affected countries (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Mexico) the excess mortality was above 50% of the expected annual mortality (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Mexico) or above 400 excess deaths per 100,000 population (Peru, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Serbia). At the same time, in several other countries (e.g. Australia and New Zealand) mortality during the pandemic was below the usual level, presumably due to social distancing measures decreasing the non-COVID infectious mortality

Summing up the excess mortality estimates across all countries in our dataset gives 4.0 million excess deaths. In contrast, summing up the official COVID-19 death counts gives 2.9 million deaths, corresponding to the global undercount ratio of 1.4.

In other words – many people were likely being killed by COVID-19 infections, which appear to be undercounted by some 40%.

To be clear – their data do not show COVID-19 vaccines causing those deaths, never mind 17 million deaths!

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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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