Discover more from Where are the numbers? by Norman Fenton and Martin Neil
How many deaths were caused by the covid vaccines?
An approximate analysis using minimal assumptions.
Contrary to the claims made by covid vaccine proponents there is hard evidence that most reports of vaccine deaths to the USA VAERS and UK Yellow Card systems are genuine. At most 30% of these reports can be ruled as likely not to have been caused by the vaccine.
There is also evidence that the reporting rates for deaths and adverse events to these systems is very low. It is likely that fewer than 10% of deaths and other adverse events ever get reported.
With these minimal assumptions we estimate there have been:
approximately 120,000 deaths in the USA directly caused by the covid vaccines (between Dec 2020 until 23 March 2023) and 16,000 in the UK (between Dec 2020 until 29 Sept 2022).
over 103 deaths per million doses of the covid vaccines in the UK with big differences between the three main vaccines (187 for Astra Zeneca, 68 for Pfizer and 35 for Moderna). For Astra Zeneca that amounts to 1 death in every 5348 doses.
Taking account of the small proportion of people reporting serious adverse reactions that may have subsequently lead to early deaths, there are likely to have been an additional 70,000 deaths in the USA and 35,000 in the UK indirectly caused by the vaccines. This would mean deaths caused directly or indirectly by the vaccines account for about half the excess deaths in the UK since Jan 2021.
A personal story
At the beginning of January 2021 a friend’s father was one of the early recipients of a covid vaccine in the UK. He was 90-years-old but, for his age, in reasonable health. He died less than 24 hours later. My suggestion of a possible link to the vaccination was treated with total incredulity by the family. In Jewish tradition he was buried the day after his death and, of course, no post mortem was ever considered. The vaccination was never mentioned again and it was assumed by all that his death was natural and inevitable.
Since then, I have lost several friends at relatively young ages from cancer and heart attacks. All were fully vaccinated. Two of the cancer victims had been in remission before the vaccinations. Again, not a single family member considered any possibility of a link to the vaccination and none of these cases were reported to the UK Yellow Card system for possible vaccine adverse reactions.
However, I know of one extremely serious and traumatic adverse reaction that followed shortly after the second dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine in April 2021 that was reported to the Yellow Card system. Here is the vaccination card with the batch numbers:
It is one I reported myself as it happened to a very close family member and the effects of this have been life-changing to the victim as well as myself.
I found the Yellow Card system extremely difficult to navigate and it did not allow me to input highly relevant specific information. It seemed designed not to collect such data. I suspect that many people attempting to navigate the system will have given up and not finalised and submitted their report. I have never received any confirmation or follow-up to my report. Furthermore, my GP and specialists involved in the case were dismissive of my claim of a vaccine link.
A family member of Martin’s also suffered an adverse reaction which was reported to the Yellow Card system.
6 April 2023 Update: At 45 minutes in on this UK Column programme there is some extremely revealing information on just how bad the Yellow Card scheme is.
How many ‘officially reported’ deaths occurred?
Except for a tiny percentage of deaths occurring shortly after vaccination, doctors have been extremely reluctant to properly investigate claims of serious adverse reactions from covid vaccines by patients or their relatives. This reluctance to investigate happens even when deaths have been reported to the VAERS or Yellow Card systems. As such, only a tiny minority of cases have ever been subject to formal medical verification, and it is this tiny number that Governments are keen to promote to sustain the false argument that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the harms. For example, in the UK only coroner confirmed deaths qualify for the Government’s £120,000 compensation payment scheme and (as of 3 March 2023) only 52 such deaths were officially classified as having been caused by covid vaccines. This is despite the fact that as, of 29 Sept 2022, there had been 2,272 covid vaccine deaths reported to the Yellow Card scheme.
In the USA things are even worse because, despite 17,315 deaths being reported to VAERS (as of 23 March 2023), it seems that no deaths have been ‘officially’ recognised as directly caused by covid vaccines. And any attempt to use VAERS as the basis for estimating the true number of such deaths have been simply quashed by the ‘fact checkers’ as misinformation on the grounds that these are simply ‘unconfirmed reports’.
Can we estimate the unreported number of deaths from VAERS and the yellow card systems?
We want to make the fewest assumptions possible to estimate the unreported number of deaths from those reported. To do this we need two measures:
The reporting rate (also often called, somewhat confusingly, the under-reporting factor): What proportion of vaccine deaths are actually reported to VAERS and Yellow Card? If, for example, only 10% of all vaccine deaths are reported then the reporting rate is 10%.
The false positive rate: What proportion of vaccine deaths actually reported to these systems are not caused by the vaccine. If, for example, 40% of all deaths reported as vaccine deaths were not caused by the vaccine then the false positive rate is 40% while 60% are true positives.
Covid vaccine sceptics claim that the reporting rate is very low due to a combination of:
People having never heard of the reporting system or assuming someone else would complete it;
Difficulty in completing the form;
No surviving relative to complete the form;
No surviving relative willing to complete the form;
Failure to contemplate that the cause of illness or death may have been related to the vaccine.
Compared to previous vaccines, the likely way in which harm is mediated by the mRNA vaccines means adverse events are much more spread out over both time and also the organs affected. This inevitably reduces attribution compared to previous vaccines and suggests under-reporting could be greater.
It has been claimed that (for all types of vaccines) as few as 1% of vaccine injuries are reported to VAERS. A more recent analysis claimed a figure of 1 in 41, i.e., 2.4%. I think that 10% is a conservative estimate, although I will consider a range of values. Whatever the actual under-reporting figure is for VAERS, it is likely to be even lower for the Yellow Card scheme which is especially difficult to submit a report to.
Vaccine ‘proponents’ often claim that the false positive rate for the VAERS and Yellow Card systems are very high because of either false/malicious reporting or the supposed lack of clinical knowledge of the reporters. However, when the first batch of deaths were reported in VAERS for the covid vaccines McLachlan et al undertook a detailed analysis (with a 2023 update here) of a sample of 250 reports and concluded that less than 15% could be dismissed as invalid.
A reader has now alerted us to a much older paper from 1982 published in the BMJ that provides further valuable insights into the false positive rate for reported serious vaccine adverse reactions. Although the sample size was small (57 reports to the Yellow Card scheme in the UK), it shows that 40 were true positives (77%) while none of the remaining 17 could be proved to be false positives. So, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it seems reasonable to assume that at least 70% of death reports to the Yellow Card and VAERS systems are genuine, and it is reasonable to assume a false positive rate less than 30%
Estimate of direct deaths caused by the covid vaccines
Taking account of the 30% false positive rate (70% of the reported vaccine deaths were caused by the vaccine), and different possible under-reporting factors we get the following estimates of number of covid vaccine deaths based on Yellow Card and VAERS for the UK and USA:
Hence, with a 10% reporting rate we estimate nearly 16,000 deaths in the UK and over 120,000 deaths in the USA. While these numbers may look high, they are only a tiny proportion of all deaths registered since Jan 2021 (when the vaccine programmes were fully rolled out). For example, in The UK there were over one million deaths in total registered between Jan 2021 and end of Sept 2022, so 16,000 covid vaccine deaths would, as far as excess deaths are concerned, barely be noticed (less than 1.6%).
But what about the impact of serious adverse events reported on indirect deaths?
The number of deaths reported to VAERS is just a small percentage of the total adverse events reported. As of 24 March 2023, the totals in the USA were 947,487 broken down as follows:
Many of the more serious adverse reactions will increasingly contribute to early deaths that will never be directly attributed as caused by the vaccines. Of course, whereas as noted above the number of deaths directly caused by the vaccines will barely make a dent on total excess deaths numbers, it has been hypothesised that the large recent increases in excess deaths in highly vaccinated countries is due to the increasing number of deaths indirectly caused by the vaccines. What we really need to know is what proportion of those people reporting serious adverse events (approximately 200,000) have died earlier than they otherwise would have. If the figure is 5% then that would be 10,000 deaths. Based on the 70% true positive rate and 10% reporting rate that would mean an extra 70,000 deaths indirectly caused by the vaccines.
And serious adverse events reported in the UK?
This is where things become curious. In March 2023 the UK Government decided to stop properly updating the Yellow Card figures. In fact, the latest report does not even provide the updated death numbers. Nor does it provide the details of the proportion of reports that are classified as ‘serious’ in any easily searchable form. The only relevant numbers that are relatively easy to find are:
The total number of reports (summing the first column) is 474,018 which we can assume correspond to different people reporting. If we assume that 20% of these 474,018 suffered at least one serious adverse event (as per VAERS proportion) then that would amount to 94,804 people. If 5% of these ‘died early’ then that would be nearly 5,000 deaths. Based on an assumed 70% true positive rate and 10% under-reporting factor that would mean an extra 35,000 deaths indirectly caused by the vaccines. Together with the above estimate of 16,000 deaths directly caused by the covid vaccines, a total of 51,000 would result. This is a significant proportion of the approximately 120,000 excess deaths recorded since Jan 2021.
What are the death rates per million doses?
Applying the same true positive rate and reporting rates to the data from the Yellow Card system (as of 29 Sept 2022) we get the death rate in the UK expressed in per million doses for all vaccinees:
In total we see 103 deaths per million doses, i.e., over 1 in 10,000, with big differences between the three main vaccines (187 for Astra Zeneca, 68 for Pfizer and 35 for Moderna). For Astra Zeneca that amounts to 1 in every 5348 doses. It is little surprise that the Astra Zeneca vaccine was quietly and unofficially withdrawn in the UK as early as June 2021 (it had already been suspended from many European countries as early as March 2021). That was before Dame Sarah Gilbert - who was in charge of the Astra Zeneca development - received a standing ovation at Wimbledon Centre Court for her ‘achievement’.
With a minimal set of conservative and reasonable assumptions we estimate that, since the end of Dec 2020 approximately 16,000 people in the UK have died directly from covid vaccines, while in the USA the figure is approximately 120,000. An interesting validity check is that the US population is five times that of the UK. Taking account of the later date of the USA figures and the fact that the under-reporting is likely to be lower in the USA, the mortality rate is reasonably consistent between the two countries.
With respect to the additional number of those who may have died indirectly following serious adverse reactions, we have estimated 35,000 in the UK and 70,000 in the USA. This larger number (relative to population size) for the UK may be partly due to the widespread use of the especially problematic Astra Zeneca vaccine in the first half of 2021. Luckily for the Americans, this vaccine was not used in the USA. Three times as many adverse reactions per dose were reported for this vaccine than for the Pfizer vaccine and over twice as many per dose than for the Moderna vaccine. However, as reported here, all follow up reports are deleted from public VAERS, which means that many reports in VAERS are actually their least serious version. There are approximately 140,000 missing IDs, and each could be a deleted follow up report.
While Astra Zeneca has effectively been discarded worldwide the roll-out of yet more boosters of the other vaccines continues unabated. Yet even before these vaccines were shown to be ineffective in stopping infection and transmission there were already sufficient safety signals that should have led to their suspension. In the USA, the CDC’s own analysis of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines found hundreds of safety signals, while an analysis of the original controlled trials data from these companies also revealed unacceptably high rates of serious adverse reactions. The recent Rasmussen poll as well as the insurance data from the USA provide strong evidence that the estimates we have made of deaths from the vaccines really are very conservative. With evidence of the increasingly low risk that covid poses to any age group, there is no scientific basis for anybody to get another dose of a covid vaccine. This calamity needs to stop now.