Recent reports claim that a lead database administrator for New Zealand’s public health ministry leaked COVID-19 vaccine mortality data, revealing a high death count linked to certain vaccine batches. The report falsely claims that COVID-19 vaccines have caused 13 million deaths worldwide. The whistleblower reportedly faces prison time after releasing the data. Prominent social media users are sharing the whistleblower’s false claims and expressing concerns about vaccine safety.
Risk level: Low
Recommendation: These types of claims show how vaccine opponents misinterpret data to make false claims about COVID-19 vaccine safety. Debunking messaging may emphasize that verified data from New Zealand and worldwide show that COVID-19 vaccines have not caused excess deaths in any age group. Given the recent COVID-19 waves, the more likely cause of recent deaths is COVID-19 infection. The CDC continues recommending COVID-19 vaccines for everyone six months and older, because the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks across all age groups. Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines reduces the risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization, death, and long COVID.