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Fact check: Are viral videos showing COVID-19 vaccine side effects accurate?

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Videos appearing to show people experiencing severe side effects after allegedly receiving COVID-19 vaccines are making the rounds on social media as part of a renewed push from anti-vaccine movements to cast doubt on safety.

Twitter users have shared videos of people who've claimed to have experienced tremors, seizures, paralysis, and other injuries after vaccination. However, there has been no evidence to prove any of the footage is authentic.

Others have claimed that the COVID-19 vaccines were responsible for the deaths of Lisa Marie Presley and sports journalist Grant Wahl despite no confirmation to corroborate the speculation, The Atlantic reported.

Have COVID-19 vaccines caused injuries?

Though they are rare, some have been associated with COVID-19 vaccines.

Anaphylaxis, a severe type of allergic reaction, has occurred at a rate of five cases per 1 million doses administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, an event that causes blood clots in large blood vessels, has occurred in four cases per 1 million doses administered, according to the CDC.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare disorder that can lead to muscle weakness and paralysis, has been reported in 50 years and older who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine, the CDC said.

Some patients have also experienced myocarditis and pericarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle and inflammation of the outer lining of the heart, respectively, after receiving the Moderna and Pfizer COVID vaccines, the CDC states.

The conditions were most prevalent in children aged 16-17, with 105.9 cases per 1 million doses administered, according to a 2022 study conducted by the CDC.

Have COVID-19 vaccines led to sudden death?

Of more than 667 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines that were administered between Dec. 14, 2020, and Jan. 18, 2023, there were 18,769 preliminary reports of death among people who received a vaccine, according to the CDC.

However, those reports don't necessarily mean the vaccines were the cause of death.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires health care providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), even if the cause of death is unclear, according to the CDC.

Those reports, which include death certificates, autopsies and medical records, are reviewed by CDC and FDA officials to determine official causes of death.

But VAERS allows anyone to submit reports on any possible reactions after a vaccine, and has clear disclaimers that reports may "contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable."

Though some people have experienced serious side effects, the CDC says the vaccines are safe and effective and have gone through numerous clinical trials to meet the safety standards set by the FDA.

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Citation: Fact check: Are viral videos showing COVID-19 vaccine side effects accurate? (2023, January 27) retrieved 21 May 2024 from
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