Newsletter falsely links higher vaccination rates to COVID-19-related deaths

An anti-vaccine newsletter republished part of an article from a San Jose, California, newspaper about an analysis by its publisher alleging that while California’s white populations initially saw fewer COVID-19-related deaths due to economic advantages, the numbers have changed. According to the analysis, white people accounted for 60 percent of COVID-19-related deaths in California between September 2023 and February 2024, despite having higher vaccination rates than other populations. Some comments on the newsletter claim that COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe, while others express concerns that the author has misrepresented data to make false claims about COVID-19 vaccine safety.

Recommendation: The newsletter cherry-picks data to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines increase the risk of COVID-19-related deaths. While conversations about this newsletter are unlikely to arise in a clinical setting, doctors in California may face questions about COVID-19 vaccine safety. False claims that COVID-19 vaccines cause excess deaths have been repeatedly debunked. Messaging may emphasize that a 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.