FACT CHECK: Have COVID-19 Vaccines Caused Over 2,500 Miscarriages?
An image shared on Instagram claims there have been 2,508 miscarriages in the U.S. “as a result of” COVID-19 vaccines.
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Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System data “cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness,” according to its Department of Health and Human Services website. Research has not shown a link between miscarriages and COVID-19 vaccines.
The image was originally published by lawyer Sidney Powell’s organization Defending the Republic. Its text identifies 2,508 as the “number of miscarriages that have occurred as a result of the experimental COVID ‘vaccine,’” citing the private organization OpenVAERS. The OpenVAERS website says it pulls its data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a system managed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Instagram post misinterprets data on the OpenVAERS website. The organization reported that VAERS had received 2,508 reports of people experiencing miscarriages after COVID-19 vaccination through Oct. 8. However, OpenVAERS did not claim the vaccines caused those reported miscarriages.
The VAERS website states VAERS reports alone “cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness” and that reports “may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable.” Health care providers, vaccine makers and members of the general public can submit reports of adverse events to VAERS.
“VAERS is not designed to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event,” the CDC states on its website. “A report to VAERS does not mean the vaccine caused the event.” (RELATED: Are New York Hospitals Refusing To Release Newborn Babies To Unvaccinated Parents?)
Research has not shown COVID-19 vaccines to cause miscarriages. An article published by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Oct. 14 detailed a study conducted by researchers affiliated with the CDC and National Institutes of Health that found no increased risk of spontaneous abortion after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination either before conception or during pregnancy, compared to the expected rate of miscarriage in the general population. The NEJM also published another article Oct. 20 about a study by Norwegian, American and Canadian doctors that found “no evidence of an increased risk for early pregnancy loss after Covid-19 vaccination.”
The Journal of the American Medical Association in September published research about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and spontaneous abortion that found among 13,160 women identified as having had miscarriages, the “odds of COVID-19 vaccine exposure were not increased in the prior 28 days compared with women with ongoing pregnancies.”
“Results from published studies suggest that there is no increased risk of first trimester loss in patients who receive any of the three vaccines currently approved for emergency use authorization,” Johns Hopkins Medicine states in an article on its website. “These include the Pfizer, Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends for pregnant individuals to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The ACOG also states on its website that “none of the COVID-19 vaccines available for use under emergency use authorization or U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) license causes infertility or spontaneous abortion.”
The Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines “have been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective in preventing severe COVID-19,” according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has received FDA approval for people ages 16 and older, and the other two vaccines available in the U.S. have received authorization for emergency use by the FDA. Over 58.5 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Nov. 9, according to data from the CDC.
Check Your Fact called Powell’s law office several times, sent Defending the Republic two messages through a form on its website and emailed the email address listed on the organization’s Florida charity registration application several times regarding the image’s claim, but did not receive a response.