A retracted study of COVID-19 vaccines has resurfaced online. This occurred in the wake of reports that the study’s author had been cleared after an investigation into his research practices. The study had estimated vaccine-related deaths as high as 278,000 in the U.S., but it was later redacted due to flawed methodology and unreliable sources. Despite its discredited status, supporters of the study are now falsely claiming that it has been reinstated since the author has been “vindicated,” when in reality, the study was just republished in a non-medical journal.
Risk level: Low
Recommendation: Conversations about this investigation are primarily circulating in vaccine opponent circles and may not arise in a clinical setting. Still, it is recommended doctors in the Midwest be prepared to answer questions about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Health care providers may emphasize that severe adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are extremely rare. The benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks for all age groups, because staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines prevents severe illness and death.