Is Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Killing More People?

No, it doesn’t. Steve Kirsch made the claim in a presentation he gave during the public comment period of a U.S FDA committee meeting of which he had tweeted out a slide show of his demonstration three days earlier.

The conference was held by FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee to discuss Pfizer’s application to give booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is the only one accepted in the U.S. The other inoculations like Moderna and Johnson & Johnson continue to be used under an emergency use consent. The panel recommended that the FDA not support the booster for all adults in non-binding votes, but approve it for individuals 65 and older and those at risk of grave disease. 

The claim about Pfizer Covid vaccine

Kirsch made many accusations in his presentation about the dangers of COVID-19 vaccines. About the Pfizer vaccine, he claimed that a six-month study showed that the Pfizer vaccine killed five people for each COVID-19 death it prohibited. He said the statistic was not statistically important but was still troubling at the hearing. But, that’s not what the research he cited showed. The research was a non-peer-reviewed preprint. It showed that, with up to six months of follow-up and a slowly decreasing trend in vaccine efficacy, the Pfizer vaccine had a favourable safety profile and was highly efficient in stopping COVID-19.

In answer to PolitiFact’s request for suggestion to support his statement about the Pfizer vaccine, Kirsch said his declaration about deaths was not based at all on the Pfizer study. He mentioned several other papers he produced, in which he said he used the Vaccine Contrary Event Reporting System, or VAERS, jointly run by the CDC and the FDA. Kirsch used VAERS as one of eight means to regulate the number of excess deaths, and that we could only find that the vaccine was the only reasonable cause of the excess deaths.

Additional deaths are a statistic that takes the number of actual deaths in a given period and subtracts the expected number of deaths from all causes for that period, based on an average of fresh years.

VAERS and post-vaccine deaths

However, the VAERS record is an important tool to help investigators detect trends in vaccine-related side-effects, the CDC makes very clear on the VAERS website that the data available through VAERS can’t be used to accomplish that COVID-19 vaccines causing deaths. The FDA needs healthcare workers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS, though it’s unclear whether the vaccine was the cause. Besides, anyone can fabricate a report, and the reports are widely available, a fact that has made VAERS a popular breeding ground for distortion. 

More than 386 million quantities of COVID-19 vaccines were produced in the United States from mid-December through Sept. 2021. And in that period, VAERS received 7,899 reports of death (0.0020%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. But, the CDC, which examines all reports to VAERS, has determined that an analysis of available clinical information, including death certificates, autopsy and medical records, has not recognized a causal link to COVID-19 vaccines.

The CDC notes that recent reports specify a reasonable causal relationship between the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and TTS, a rare disorder with blood clots with low platelets that has caused deaths.

It’s also worth noting that the CDC needs users of its search engine for VAERS data to agree to a negation that says in part that VAERS reports alone cannot be used to regulate if a vaccine caused or donated to an adverse event or illness. But the file Kirsch presented to the FDA committee cites an alternative portal that does not require agreeing to the disclaimer. That gateway is accessible by the National Vaccine Information Center, an anti-vaccine advocacy group.

Vaccine efficacy

COVID-19 has killed nearly 675,000 people in the U.S., and more than 4.5 million worldwide. The vaccines sanctioned in the U.S. have been shown to knowingly reduce the likelihood of severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. And no evidence has recognized that a COVID-19 vaccine authorized in the U.S. caused any deaths.

The CDC analysed vaccine efficacy across 13 jurisdictions and harmonized that data to vaccine registries from those areas. It found that after delta became the most dominant variant of the coronavirus, unvaccinated individuals were five times more likely to be infected than fully vaccinated people, and more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized or die. Across 13 U.S. jurisdictions, incidence rate ratios for hospitalization and death changed comparatively little after the delta variant reached predominance, suggesting high, continued vaccine efficacy against severe COVID-19.”


There is no sign that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has caused death. Accessible data indicate just the opposite: Inoculations are prodigiously effective at preventing death and serious illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.