Did CNN Warn That People Could Start Dying After Taking the COVID-19 Vaccine?

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An image of a statement with the title ‘Don’t be alarmed if people start dying after taking the vaccine’ was shared on Twitter, with the words ‘Dying’ and ‘Vaccine’ underlined. The same title was published on Summit News and Need To Know websites, and also reshared on other Twitter posts.

The statement contains CNN’s logo as the letterhead and further states that people should not be alarmed if there are death reports within a day or two of vaccination for residents of a long-term care facility.

Background

After months of trials, vaccines against COVID-19 have lately been approved for use. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 30 countries have already rolled out vaccine plans against COVID-19. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine became the first to receive a WHO approval on December 31. A list of the authorized vaccines as published by the New York Times includes the Moderna vaccine which has been authorized in the European Union, the United States, and Israel, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine authorized in Britain, Mexico, India and Argentina, the Sinopharm vaccine authorized in China and the Bharat Biotech vaccine authorized in India.

Verification

Information at the bottom of the image shared on Twitter indicates that the warning against the vaccine was made on December 4, 2020 on the Coronavirus Townhall show with Dr Sanjay Gupta and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. The Coronavirus Town-hall is broadcasted on CNN and co-anchored by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay.

A transcript of the December 4 show was published on the CNN website. According to the transcript, there was indeed a warning that people should not be alarmed if there would be deaths after people start taking the COVID-19 vaccine. However, Dr Kelly Moore, who sounded the alarm, said that the deaths would have nothing to do with the vaccine.

Dr Moore, who is the Associate Director of the Immunization Action Coalition, was speaking about the vaccine’s efficacy on old people living in nursing homes in America. This is because the COVID-19 vaccines were not tested on the “frail elderly” people, she said.

“We know that most vaccines don’t work nearly as well in a frail elderly person as they would in someone who is fit and vigorous,” Dr Moore said, “We would not at all be surprised to see, coincidentally, vaccination happening and then having someone pass away a short time after they receive a vaccine, not because it has anything to do with the vaccination but just because that’s the place where people at the end of their lives reside.”

“One of the things we want to make sure people understand is that they should not be unnecessarily alarmed if there are reports, once we start vaccinating, of someone or multiple people dying within a day or two of their vaccination who are residents of a long-term care facility. That would be something we would expect, as a normal occurrence, because people die frequently in nursing homes,” Dr Moore is quoted as saying on the CNN transcript.

The image shared on Twitter only shows a part of the message, leaving out the context that it was talking about sick, old people who are already at a higher risk of succumbing to COVID-19 and were not tested in the vaccine trials.

Verdict

Reports that CNN warned that people should not be alarmed if they start dying after taking the COVID-19 vaccine are MISLEADING.

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Linda Ngari