Anti-vaccine activist interview with conservative political commentator spreads false claims about vaccines

A popular conservative political commentator hosted an interview with a tech entrepreneur-turned-vaccine conspiracist who promoted false claims about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. One of the debunked claims is that COVID-19 vaccines caused 17 million deaths and that they’re some of the most dangerous vaccines of all time. Several prominent anti-vaccine advocates echoed those claims on social media. 

Risk level: High

Recommendation: The false claim that COVID-19 vaccines have caused millions of deaths may discourage patients from getting the updated COVID-19 vaccine, especially when the claim is coming from and promoted by public figures with large platforms. Debunking messaging may emphasize that global data contradicts the claim that COVID-19 vaccines cause excess deaths. One 2023 analysis found that higher COVID-19 vaccination coverage was associated with lower all-cause mortality rates across 178 countries. The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older, because staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines prevents death, serious illness, hospitalization, and long COVID.