Over 339 million vaccine doses were given to 187.2 million people in the US as of July 19, 2021. The vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective. Vaccination is happening under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.
How do we know if someone dies after getting a vaccine?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires vaccination providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). When these reports are received, doctors from CDC and FDA review death certificates, autopsies, and medical records to understand what happened with each person.
How many people have died after getting a vaccine?
Between December 2020 and July 19th, 2021, VAERS received 6,207 reports of death (0.0018% of doses) among people who got a vaccine, but this does not mean the vaccine caused these deaths. Doctors and safety monitors carefully review the details of each case to see if it might be linked to the vaccine. There are three deaths that appear to be linked to blood clots that occurred after people got the J&J vaccine. Since we now know how to correctly treat people who develop these blood clots, future deaths related to this very rare side effect can be prevented.
After careful review of the additional data, doctors have decided that there is no evidence at all that the vaccines contributed to the other patient deaths. Nonetheless, the CDC and FDA will continue to investigate every single report of death (and other adverse events) reported to VAERS.
By way of comparison, getting COVID-19 while unvaccinated poses a grave risk; as of July 23, 2021, more than 610,000 deaths have been attributed to the virus in the US alone. Not everyone who dies while having COVID is counted towards this total. Suppose someone who tested positive for COVID-19 was killed in a car accident. The car accident would be the cause of death. This person would be counted as having “died with” COVID, not as having “died of” COVID.