Fact-check: Documents claiming Pfizer vaccine led to adverse effects are false

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Dec 16, 2021, 02:26 PM(IST)

Documents reveal nearly 160,000 adverse effects of Pfizer Covid vaccine Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

As per the documents, over 25,000 nervous system disorders were reported. This was accompanied with 17,000 musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders

After reports claimed Pfizer had shown a "shocking risk level" for its vaccine, a fact-check by AFP revealed it was an inaccurate claim and that there was no causal link established between the problems and the jabs. 

The report related to recent documents released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which claimed important revelations pertaining to the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. The documents which were obtained by a group of doctors, professors, and journalists apparently showed that Pfizer recorded nearly 160,000 adverse reactions to its vaccine during the initial months. 

As per the documents, over 25,000 nervous system disorders were reported. This was accompanied with 17,000 musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders and 14,000 gastrointestinal disorders.

"The figure of 1,223 fatalities among 158,893 adverse effects reflect "spontaneous" reports from sources that include health officials in several countries, without any verification of the cause, among the millions of vaccinated people worldwide during that period," Pfizer spokeswoman Dervila Keane told AFP.

"It does not indicate specific causes of death and the fatalities may include people with "various illnesses" such as cancer or cardiovascular disease," Dervila added.

The documents were reportedly obtained after doctors, professors and journalists filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FDA.

The first set of documents claimed that in February 2021, when the shot was being given out on an emergency basis, over 42,000 case were reported. These highlighted nearly 160,000 adverse reactions to the jab which ranged from the mild to severe. 

Out of these 1,223 are said to be fatal, reports RT. However, FDA spokeswoman Alison Hunt told AFP that it requires health care providers to report any death following vaccination to the system, "even if it's unclear whether the vaccine was the cause."

"Reviews by FDA and CDC have determined that the vast majority of the deaths reported are not directly attributable to the vaccines," she said, adding that reports of deaths after Covid-19 vaccination are "rare."

All of thee side effects have been mentioned in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System database. 

As of Sunday, it had recorded a total of 3,300 deaths following vaccination with the company's vaccine. While some say that these effects and deaths are underreported, critics said that these deaths cannot be linked with vaccination.

The AFP fact-check said clinical research indicates no link between the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and fatalities.

(With inputs from agencies)

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