Health care workers receive a COVID-19 vaccination at Ritchie Valens Recreation Center in Pacoima, Calif., on Jan. 13, 2021. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)
January 18, 2021
Fifty-five people in the United States have died after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, according to reports submitted to a federal system.
Deaths have occurred among people receiving both the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, according to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a federal database. The system is passive, meaning reports aren’t automatically collected and must be filed. VAERS reports can be filed by anyone, including health care providers, patients, or family members.
VAERS reports “often lack details and sometimes can have information that contains errors,” according to the reporting system’s website. Still, reports on VAERS represent “only a small fraction of actual adverse events,” the site states, although underreporting is believed to be less common for serious events.
In some cases, patients died within days of being vaccinated.
One man, a 66-year-old senior home resident in Colorado, was sleepy and stayed in bed the day after getting Moderna’s vaccine. Early the next morning, he “was observed in bed lying still, pale, eyes half open and foam coming from mouth and unresponsive,” the VAERS report states. “He was not breathing and with no pulse.”
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