Covid-19 vaccine centre

Claim of multiple deaths in Scotland from Covid vaccine Half True

Ferret Fact Service | Scotland's impartial fact check project GERS

A blog shared hundreds of times on social media has claimed that the Covid-19 vaccine has been listed multiple times as a cause of death by Scottish authorities.

The claim is made in an article published on website The Daily Expose under the headline, “Covid-19 Vaccine officially listed as the underlying cause of death multiple times by Scotland Authorities”.

Ferret Fact Service looked at the claim and found it Half True.

Evidence

In the text of its article The Daily Expose says that “authorities in Scotland have officially listed the Covid-19 vaccine as the underlying cause in multiple deaths according to official records”.

It goes on to say that the National Records of Scotland “have listed three deaths occurring before the 30th April 2021 ‘with the underlying cause of death being due to adverse effects of Covid-19 vaccines’”.

In an announcement made on 19 May, National Records of Scotland said that in the month to the end of April “three deaths in Scotland have been recorded with the underlying cause of death being due to adverse effects of Covid-19 vaccines”.

It noted that this was in the context of 2.81 million people receiving at least one vaccine dose by 30 April, based on Public Health Scotland figures.

Has The Daily Expose misinterpreted the Scottish stats?

The statistics quoted in the piece are accurate and come directly from the National Records of Scotland website. However, the article does not include the context provided by the National Records of Scotland, which noted the three deaths occurred among a total vaccinated population of 2.81m people.

Based on those figures, 0.0001 per cent of people who received a coronavirus vaccine in Scotland had the vaccine implicated in their death.

It is technically accurate for The Daily Expose to say that the data shows there were “multiple” deaths because three is a multiple of one.

However, semantically, multiple is a potentially misleading word to use as it would generally be taken to mean a larger number. The Oxford University Press-backed thesaurus Lexico gives numerous, many and manifold as alternatives to the word multiple.

The piece also uses the official statistics as a basis for making unsubstantiated claims about the vaccine. It says that the three deaths were not reported in the “mainstream media” because “it would destroy the narrative that the authorities have built to persuade every adult to take an experimental, unnecessary jab via psychological warfare, propaganda, and ostrasisation (sic) of the ‘experimental vaccine hesitant’”. It provides no evidence to back up any of those claims.

The three deaths from the vaccine were reported by BBC News, STV News, The Telegraph, The Evening Standard, and The Metro among others.

What is The Daily Expose?

On the About Us section of its website, The Daily Expose claims to be an alternative news service that was “set up due to a lack of alternatives to the lying mainstream media, which report only the facts (sic)”.

The website has previously made a number of claims regarding Covid-19 and vaccinations that were based on official statistics but were found to be misleading.

In February, the website Full Fact investigated a claim made by The Daily Expose that said “only 3,000 people have died of Covid-19”. Full Fact found that while The Daily Expose had used official statistics to back up its claim, it had misinterpreted what the figures meant.

Similarly, in April, USA Today looked into a story published on The Daily Expose that claimed the number of pregnant women who miscarried after having a Covid-19 vaccine rose by 366 per cent in six weeks. USA Today’s fact checkers found that The Daily Expose had used the correct figures but, again, had misinterpreted what they meant.

Ferret Fact Service verdict: Half True

It is accurate to say that a Covid-19 vaccine was officially listed as the underlying cause of three deaths during April. However, it is misleading to characterise those as “multiple” deaths as they represent a tiny proportion of the 2.81m people who had received a jab by that point. The article also makes a number of further claims that are not backed up by evidence.

This claim is half true.

Ferret Fact Service (FFS) is a non-partisan fact checker, and a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network fact-checkers’ code of principles. All the sources used in our checks are publicly available and the FFS fact-checking methodology can be viewed here. Want to suggest a fact check? Go to ideas.theferret.scot, email us at factcheck@theferret.scot or join our Facebook group.

Phot thanks to iStock/VV Shots

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