Majority of Americans Believe COVID Shots Cause ‘Unexplained Deaths’

About a quarter of American adults said they ‘personally know someone’ who they believe was killed by COVID-19 vaccine-related side effects, a survey shows.
Majority of Americans Believe COVID Shots Cause ‘Unexplained Deaths’
A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Sydney Road Family Medical Practice in Balgowlah, in Sydney, on Jan. 10, 2022. (Jenny Evans/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

A poll carried out this month found that a majority of Americans believe that COVID-19 vaccines have led to many unexplained deaths—with about a quarter of adults reporting that they believe they know someone who could be among the deaths.

Rasmussen Reports, in a survey released in mid-January, found that 53 percent of U.S. adults think it’s likely that vaccine side effects have “caused a significant number of unexplained deaths,” which is up about 4 percentage points from a year ago. Thirty percent who were surveyed believe it’s “very likely.”

At the same time, 36 percent said they don’t believe that a significant number of deaths can be attributed to the shots, which were rolled out in late 2020, and 16 percent say it’s “not at all likely.” About 11 percent said they aren’t sure, according to Rasmussen.

Another 24 percent of American adults said they “personally know someone” who they believe was killed by COVID-19 vaccine-related side effects. Sixty-one percent said they don’t, and 10 percent stated they aren’t sure. About a year ago, 28 percent said they knew someone who might have died from the vaccine.

Rasmussen found that 54 percent said they think there are good reasons to be concerned about COVID-19 vaccine safety issues, and 33 percent believe that individuals who worry about the shots are “spreading conspiracy theories.” Thirteen percent said they don’t know.

The difference in opinion between those of different political affiliations was dramatic. The pollster found that 69 percent of GOP voters believe “there are legitimate reasons to be concerned about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines,” while 47 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of unaffiliated voters said they believe the same.

The poll found that 55 percent of Democrats “believe people who worry about vaccine safety are spreading conspiracy theories.” That view was shared by only 27 percent of unaffiliated voters and 21 percent of Republicans.

The poll also revealed that 56 percent of black people, 59 percent of other minority groups, and 50 percent of white people think that it’s “at least somewhat likely that side effects of COVID-19 vaccines have caused a significant number of unexplained deaths.”

The survey interviewed 1,133 American adults between Jan. 7 and Jan. 9, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, with a 95 percent level of confidence.

Other Surveys

Several months ago, the Annenberg Public Policy Center with the University of Pennsylvania polled 1,500 American adults.

In that survey, taken between Oct. 5 and Oct. 12, 2023, about 63 percent of respondents said they think that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is safer than contracting the virus itself—a drop of 12 percentage points from April 2021, when 75 percent held that view.

It also found that the portion of Americans who view the shot as unsafe increased to 24 percent from 18 percent in August 2022.

The polls can be seen as a blow to federal health agencies, which have unrelentingly attempted to persuade more Americans to receive the initial and updated vaccines and boosters.

After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signed off on the latest booster shots made by Moderna, Pfizer, and Novavax in September 2023, recent data have signaled that uptake appears to be relatively slow.

For example, CDC data released last week show that only 11 percent of U.S. children have been reported to have obtained the updated COVID-19 vaccine, the agency said.

New Variant

As of Jan. 20, the JN.1 variant makes up about 85 percent of cases, the CDC said. There are no signs that the variant causes more severe disease or hospitalizations than prior variants, officials and researchers have said.

Meanwhile, the CDC’s tracking data show that COVID-19 hospitalizations, case numbers, and emergency room visits were declining for the reporting week ending Jan. 13.

Emergency room visits fell by 19 percent, hospitalizations by 9.6 percent, and case numbers by 1 percent.
Although the numbers have risen in recent months, they are still much lower than previous increases across the United States throughout the pandemic, the CDC’s historical data show.
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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