MISSING CONTEXT: 10 dead in Germany after receiving Pfizer vaccine

At a glance:
  • Claim: 10 people died in Germany after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Rating: MISSING CONTEXT
  • The facts: Germany's federal institute for vaccines says all deaths were "seriously ill patients," and finds no causal relationship to vaccination.
  • Why we fact-checked this: This claim was spotted through social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle. One post containing this claim has gained 1,600 reactions, 4,900 comments, and 143,000 shares as of writing.
Complete details:

A screenshot of an article saying 10 people died in Germany after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is circulating with missing context.

The screenshot contains the headline, "10 Dead in Germany after Receiving Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine," with the subhead, "On Thursday, 10 people were pronounced dead in Germany after receiving Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, according to the German News Agency (DPA)."

This was spotted through social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle. One post containing this screenshot has gained 1,600 reactions, 4,900 comments, and 143,000 shares as of writing.

The claim is missing context.

The article in the screenshot was published by Sada El-Balad English, an Egypt-based online magazine, on January 14. The screenshot in the circulating posts did not include the part in the article that says, "According to medical sources, the complications of the diseases they had are the main reason for their death, not the vaccines."

In a January 14 article published by German news website Der Spiegel, head of the Paul Ehrlich Institute's (PEI) Division Safety of Medicinal Products and Medical Devices Brigitte Keller-Stanislawski was quoted as saying, "All deaths were seriously ill patients. We assume that the patients died of their underlying disease." The report also said that "all of them were of an old age."

The PEI is Germany's federal institute for vaccines and biomedicines.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) also fact-checked this claim. A spokeswoman for the PEI told AFP in a January 25 email that although 21 deaths were reported in Germany following COVID-19 inoculation since late December 2020, "no causal relationship to vaccination has been shown" for the 21 cases.

In the Philippines, the Food and Drug Administration has cleared Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. The government is targeting an initial vaccine rollout by the end of February. ā€“ Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com

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