Journal Retracts Terrible Study That Claimed Widespread Covid-19 Vaccine Deaths

Home Technology Journal Retracts Terrible Study That Claimed Widespread Covid-19 Vaccine Deaths
Journal Retracts Terrible Study That Claimed Widespread Covid-19 Vaccine Deaths
A nurse showing a container of Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vaccine.
A nurse showing a container of Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vaccine.
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

A study looking at the impacts of covid-19 vaccination—condemned by other scientists as seriously flawed and irresponsible—has now sparked a mutiny of sorts. This past week, several well-respected researchers have resigned from their involvement in the journal that published the paper, which argued that vaccines are killing almost as many people as they’re saving from the pandemic. Today, the paper was retracted.

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The study, titled “The Safety of COVID-19 Vaccinations—We Should Rethink the Policy,” was published on June 24 in the journal Vaccines and was authored by Harald Walach, Rainer J. Klement, and Wouter Aukema. Citing several sources of data, the authors argued that covid-19 vaccination was more dangerous than commonly believed, and that the benefits of inoculation only barely outweighed the risks caused by covid-19. Most egregiously, they claimed that for every “three deaths prevented by vaccination, we have to accept two inflicted by vaccination.”

The paper was uncritically shared by some on social media at first, including members of the anti-vaccination movement. But it was quickly criticized by many other scientists for its faulty assumptions, bad math, and outright misinformation.

One of the main pieces of evidence the authors presented to support their claim that the covid-19 shots are deadly, for instance, came from the Netherlands’ adverse event reporting system for their vaccines. But as Gizmodo has discussed before, these systems are designed to record any health incident, including death, that occurs after a person receives a new drug or vaccine. They don’t demonstrate that the incident occurred due to the drug—after all, a person may die for any number of unrelated reasons after receiving a vaccine—but instead are meant to flag possible signals of undiscovered side effects that could be linked to a new drug or vaccine, signals that then have to be studied further before any judgment can be made.