COVID-19 Fact Checks

MISSING CONTEXT: 79.4% of the current COVID-19 deaths in the UK are fully-vaccinated cases

MISSING CONTEXT: 79.4% of the current COVID-19 deaths in the UK are fully-vaccinated cases
Data from the UK's Health Security Agency shows that 91.8% of death cases among fully vaccinated patients are from people aged 60 and older
At a glance
  • Claim: 79.4% of the current COVID-19 deaths in the UK are “double vaccinated” or have received two doses of the COVID-vaccine.
  • Rating: MISSING CONTEXT
  • The facts: The article did not take into consideration the age of the patients who died; age is a significant factor in COVID-19 deaths. Although it is true that 3,284 out of 4,135 COVID-19 deaths were among fully-vaccinated patients, 3,081 of them are aged 60 and older.  
  • Why we fact-checked this: This post was flagged by Facebook’s fact-checking tool as potentially misleading.
Complete details

A photo posted on November 19 by Facebook user “Mhye Pinpin” claims that 79.4% of the current COVID-19 deaths in the UK are “double vaccinated” or have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The photo shows a news report saying that from October 11 to November 7, the United Kingdom recorded 4,135 cases of COVID-19 deaths, 3,284 or 79.4% of which involved fully-vaccinated cases.

The report also said that vaccines are obsolete because vaccinated people can still become infected and could pass on an infection.

Flyer, Brochure, Poster

This post was flagged by Facebook’s fact-checking tool as potentially misleading.

This claim is missing context.

Although data from the UK Health Security Agency (UK HSA) did show that 3,284 out of 4,135 or 79.4% COVID-19 deaths are among fully-vaccinated people, the Facebook post did not show the breakdown of cases in terms of age range.

A Vaccine Surveillance Report of the UK HSA covering weeks 41 to 44 showed that out of 3,284 COVID-19 deaths among fully-vaccinated patients, 3,081 or 91.8% were aged 60 and older. 

The report explained that people with advanced age who are COVID-19 positive are more at risk of hospitalization or death due to non-COVID-19 causes. They may be hospitalized due to COVID-19, but die due to something else.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) said in their website that while vaccines are working well, some people who are fully vaccinated can still get sick from COVID-19 because no vaccine is 100% effective. (READ: COVID-19 breakthrough infections: What you need to know)

Doctor Muge Cevik, a clinical lecturer in infectious diseases and medical virology at the University of St. Andrews, said in a Reuters report that most infections and deaths are “expected to be among those vaccinated” when much of the population has been vaccinated.

Similar claims about the COVID-19 death cases in the UK have been fact-checked by Reuters and the Poynter Institute’s Politifact. – Lorenz Dantes Pasion/Rappler.com

Lorenz Dantes Pasion is a Rappler intern. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.

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