(Reuters) - A widely shared blog post has claimed that 920 women have had a miscarriage as a result of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. However, officials in Britain and the United States told Reuters there is no evidence of an increased risk.
The headline of the post, published first on a US blogging site and later copied to a UK-based page, reads: “920 women lose their unborn babies after getting vaccinated”. It was also shared on Reddit, while a screenshot of the headline appeared on Instagram as well.
Both pieces claim hundreds of women have suffered miscarriages “as a result of” or “due to” receiving COVID-19 shots, having drawn this conclusion from data in the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and Britain’s Yellow Card system – the respective schemes used to report suspected adverse drug reactions.
However, the claims touted in the posts appear to demonstrate a misunderstanding of VAERS and Yellow Card data, as officials told Reuters there is no evidence of a causal link between COVID-19 inoculation and miscarriage.
In an email, a spokesperson for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said – as of June 7 - there had been 548 reports to VAERS of women suffering miscarriages after a COVID-19 vaccination. This was out of 2,224 VAERS reports from pregnant women who received a vaccine.
The spokesperson highlighted that reports to VAERS were not confirmed adverse effects; rather they log an incident happening after the shot. The representative also referred to the general likelihood of miscarriages happening in the population.
“VAERS does not collect information on the number of pregnant persons vaccinated with a Covid-19 vaccine, therefore it is not possible to calculate rates or prevalence of an adverse event,” they said. “While some reported adverse events may be caused by vaccination, others are not and may have occurred coincidentally.”
In Britain, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which oversees reporting to the Yellow Card scheme, gave a similar response.
“There is no pattern to suggest an elevated risk of miscarriage related to exposure to the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy,” a spokesperson told Reuters, adding that miscarriages are expected to occur in about 1 in 4 pregnancies. Some would be expected following vaccination “purely by chance”.
“Many suspected ADRs reported on a Yellow Card do not have any relation to the vaccine or medicine and it is often coincidental that they both occurred around the same time,” another representative previously told Reuters via email (here).
There have also been a “small number” of reports of miscarriages in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy following vaccination, which the MHRA said it is “monitoring closely”.
Reuters has previously debunked a claim of a 2000% increase in the number if miscarriages “due to” COVID-19 vaccinations (here).