Paper Claiming 2 Deaths From COVID-19 Vaccine for Every 3 Prevented Cases Earns Expression of Concern

Ivan Oransky, MD

June 30, 2021

A study published last week that quickly became another flashpoint for those arguing that COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe has earned an expression of concern.

The original paper, published in the MDPI title Vaccines, claimed that:

The number of cases experiencing adverse reactions has been reported to be 700 per 100,000 vaccinations. Currently, we see 16 serious side effects per 100,000 vaccinations, and the number of fatal side effects is at 4.11/100,000 vaccinations. For three deaths prevented by vaccination we have to accept two inflicted by vaccination.

However, the study's methods quickly drew scrutiny, and at least two members of Vaccines' editorial board, Mount Sinai virologist Florian Krammer and Oxford immunologist Katie Ewer, said they have stepped down to protest the publication of the paper.

https://twitter.com/udarnik/status/1408563479758446596
https://twitter.com/ProfKatieEwer/status/1409125241142513670

Here is the expression of concern, published yesterday:

The journal is issuing this expression of concern to alert readers to significant concerns regarding the paper cited above [1]. 

 

Serious concerns have been raised about misinterpretation of the data and the conclusions. The major concern is the misrepresentation of the COVID-19 vaccination efforts and misrepresentation of the data, e.g., Abstract: "For three deaths prevented by vaccination we have to accept two inflicted by vaccination". Stating that these deaths linked to vaccination efforts is incorrect and distorted. 

We will provide an update following the conclusion of our investigation. The authors have been notified about this Expression of Concern.

Corresponding author Harald Walach told Retraction Watch that he does not agree with the expression of concern. He said he and his co-authors are meeting to formulate a detailed response to the notice:

The short version is: we have used and analyzed the data correctly, and not incorrectly. But that the data are less than optimal is clear to everyone and we said so in our paper. The purpose is to generate enough momentum for governments and researchers to finally create the good data that are long overdue.

Two of the paper's authors were among those who posted a call to retract a January 2020 study of PCR testing for COVID-19 by virologist Christian Drosten. That call was rejected by the journal.

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