Taiwan’s vaccine statistics distorted by US-based TV network

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A misleading video report from a US-based television network has been viewed thousands of times on Twitter and Facebook sharing its claim that “more people are dying from vaccines than from [Covid-19]in Taiwan. The report incorrectly claims that deaths reported to the island’s vaccine adverse event database were directly caused by bites of Covid-19. Taiwanese health authorities told AFP that They were still investigating the causes of the deaths reported to the database, and have yet to determine if any of them were directly linked to the vaccine.

The video from American television network NTD was shared in this Twitter post on October 15, 2021.

It has been viewed over 17,000 times.

In the clip, the news anchor can be heard saying, “Taiwan health authorities say as of Monday, deaths after vaccination reached 865 while deaths from the virus are at 845.”

The chyron on the report reads: ‘MORE DIE AFTER VAX THAN VIRUS IN TAIWAN’.

The message’s simplified caption in Chinese translates in part to: “In Taiwan, more people are dying from vaccines than from the virus, this is a fact that is now being discussed by journalists.”

Screenshot taken on December 23, 2021 of the misleading Twitter post

By the time the video was posted in October 2021, there had been 846 deaths from Covid-19 in Taiwan since the start of the pandemic.

The figure can be found on the official website of Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare as the “cumulative death toll” from Covid-19.

As of December 22, Taiwan had reported 850 death cases. Official data also shows that around 66% of Taiwanese have been fully vaccinated, while around 80% have received their first dose of the vaccine.

The self-governing island won praise around the world at the start of the pandemic for the speed with which it raised the alarm about the emerging deadly disease and succeeded in eradicating it locally. AFP reported here.

The same video claiming more people are dying from vaccines than Covid-19 was shared with a similar claim here, here and here on Twitter; and here, here and here on Facebook.

But the data was presented in a misleading context.

Neither the NTD report nor the publications that share it mention that the deaths reported in the database following vaccination do not correspond to deaths directly caused by vaccination.

Vaccine data

The video report was originally uploaded here on the official NTD News Facebook page.

The media company describes itself as a “New York-based global television network founded in 2001 by Chinese Americans who fled communism.”

The network, funded largely by donations, was founded by practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, Reuters reported.

The NTD video is based on a document on adverse events reported after vaccination published by the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on October 11, 2021.

The number “865” can be seen in the chart in a column that numbers “suspect post-vaccination” deaths between March 22 and October 11, 2021.

Below is a screenshot of the graph with the number “865” circled in red by AFP:

Chart screenshot

The first paragraph of the same Taiwanese CDC document reads: “A vaccine-related adverse event report refers to any event, at any time after vaccination, that people suspect or believe may be related to vaccination. These reported events occurred after vaccination, but that does not mean they were caused by vaccination.”

He continues: “The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a passive surveillance system. The number of adverse event reports by themselves cannot explain or be used to draw conclusions about the existence, severity, frequency, or incidence of vaccine-related problems, and should be explained in the context of the report. ‘other scientific information.’

In an email to AFP on Dec. 17, a spokesperson for the Taiwan CDC said no data has been released so far on deaths in Taiwan believed to have been caused by Covid-19 vaccines.

“Post-vaccination “adverse events” refer to all events that have a negative impact on health after vaccination. These adverse events occur after vaccination in time, but do not necessarily have a causal relationship with vaccination. take enough time to determine whether they can be caused by vaccination based on empirical evidence after investigation or data analysis.And according to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, no cases of “death directly caused by vaccination “has only been found among the cases assessed so far,” the spokesperson said.

Health authorities in various countries – including the United States and Australia – have repeatedly warned that further investigation is needed to link reported deaths after vaccination to the vaccine itself.

It remains very rare for investigators to establish a firm causal link between vaccination against Covid-19 and death.

As of December 16, 2021, Australia had just 11 vaccine-related deaths after more than 40 million doses of the vaccine, according to this report from the country’s drug regulator.

As of December 22, there were 276,488,165 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide, including 5,374,296 deaths, according to an AFP tally.

AFP has debunked several similar claims here, here; and here.

The same video had already been debunked by AFP in the Serbian language here.

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