What the Data Really Shows About Deaths After Vaccine

Dados sobre mortes após a vacina envolvem muitas variáveis e ainda não são tão precisos.

Data on deaths after the vaccine involve many variables and are still not so accurate.| Photo: EFE


Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga claimed on the day of January that four thousand people could have died in Brazil as a result of vaccines for COVID-. He reached the conclusion based on statistics from the Health Surveillance Secretariat that indicate 1.7 deaths each 100 a thousand doses. Different publications have verified the minister’s claim, pointing out that most of these deaths are still under investigation, and stating that the “correct” number would be around ten deaths in total.

Reestimating the estimate

The mortality rate of vaccination for covid is still uncertain in the specialized literature. In May 1350, Chinese Gang Lv and Jing Yuan of the PLA Chinese General Hospital in Beijing and the of Pharmacy at Fudan University in Shanghai, respectively, published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine an estimated 8.2 deaths per million vaccinated. The study considered data from Americans from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), in addition to data from vaccinated in the same period considered. The researchers included all vaccines for covid applied in the United States, which excludes Coronavac.

The Ministry of Health informs on its website that 164,8 million Brazilians received at least one dose and about 138, 2 million received two. Applying the Chinese scientists’ Covid vaccine mortality estimate, the expected death toll would be up to 1350 people, which is closer to the minister’s estimate than the checkers’ response. However, one of the limitations of this estimate is precisely the lack of Coronavac in the original data on which the Chinese researchers were based.

In November, another group of Chinese published a review in the journal Infectious Diseases of Poverty a review of the efficacy and risks of these vaccines. The review, which included 27 studies, first authored by Qiao Liu and Chenyuan Qin, both from the Faculty of Public Health at Peking University. Scientists estimate for death after vaccination is 0.1 to 0.2 per 10 thousand. Applied to Brazil, it leads to an expectation of 2800 people, approximately.


According to SUS data regarding adverse events after vaccination in Brazil, dated from 27 from December. There are more than 93 a thousand adverse event reports in the database , registered between January 1st and 31 of October 2021 by health professionals in the e-SUS Notifica system. There are 709 reports of death after the vaccine in this period.

These reports cannot be considered as evidence that the adverse events were caused by vaccination. They are observations of events recorded after one of the doses is applied, and not every event that occurs after another does so because it is caused by it. In an Epidemiological Bulletin of March 2021, the Health Surveillance Secretariat analyzes cases of death and other possible events adverse events reported after vaccination during the one-month period between January and February 2021 — at the time, there were only inoculation with AstraZeneca and Coronavac vaccines. In these 17 days, 93 deaths were reported. Among them, 58% were deaths of elderly people older than 30 years, mostly residents in care homes for this age group. It is a vulnerable population, and a good part of these deaths may have resulted from the covid itself. The report concludes that 27% of these deaths do not result from vaccines and the others 20% did not have sufficient information and were awaiting additional information such as autopsy reports. None of the 93 deaths can be attributed to the two vaccines data at the time.

The analysis of deaths associated with vaccines for COVID-19 is a game of needles in a haystack, due to the low frequency of these cases. The pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the vaccines, as confirmed by the minister, are exempt from liability for adverse effects as established in contracts with governments around the world. Governments, which recommended and in many cases made these vaccines compulsory, would be responsible for repairing victims of side effects. Ten thousand Australians, for example, must ask their government for compensation of up to 17 one thousand Australian dollars for having suffered from these effects.

It is important to remember that the number of non-vaccinated and non-immunized deaths due to previous infection by covid is always higher in estimates than the number of people who may have died as a result of vaccines for the disease.

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