A viral claim suggesting that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine increases the risk of death in children by 5,100 percent is found to be misleading. The baseless theory also suggested that the data was provided by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the United Kingdom.
Pfizer rolled out the Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 5 and above last year. Recently, Pfizer and BioNTech approached the FDA to expand the authorization for their vaccine to most kids under 5.
Vaccinated Kids Under Risk of Death?
The viral claim emerged following a report published in The Expose. Headlined, 'Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine increases Children's risk of Death by 5100% according to the Office for National Statistics' the article claimed that there was a massive difference in death rates among children vaccinated against Covid-19 and their unvaccinated counterparts in England and Wales according to official data published by the Office for National Statistics which shows fully vaccinated children's risk of death due to any cause increases by 5,100%.
"The vaccinations, on the other hand, are available to children as young as 12, who were allowed to receive the injection against their parents' wishes. In some cases, children as young as five have been given a reduced dosage of the vaccines," the article read.
"The data showed a massive increase in deaths among single-vaccinated and double-vaccinated children compared to their unvaccinated counterparts. For children aged 15 to 19, the risk of death increases by 82% following the first shot, and a shocking 226% following the second shot. But things are much worse for 10 to 14-year-olds. The risk of dying increases by a mind-blowing 885% following the first shot, and then an earth shattering 5105% following the second dose, the outlet reported.
Here is the Truth
Debunking the claim made in the article, Lead Stories dubbed it as "highly misleading."
In a communique to the outlet, the ONS stated that The ExposÃ© article specifically looks at children aged 10-14. "For the bulk of the period (January October 2021), only clinically vulnerable children were allowed to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and clinically vulnerable young people were vaccinated much earlier than those with no comorbidities. Clinically vulnerable children and young people have a higher mortality rate than those with no comorbidities, and this explains why vaccinated teenagers have higher rate of death than those who remained unvaccinated," it said.
"For the 10-14 age groups, no children below 12 would have been vaccinated, so vaccinated kids aged 10-14 would be older on average than unvaccinated 10-14. Essentially mortality rates are not meaningful for children because of the way children at risk were prioritized in the vaccine roll out," ONS said further.