A two-year-old did not die during Pfizer-BioNTech’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trial in kids under 12, contrary to claims on social media. An unverified entry saying so in the United States’ federal vaccine safety surveillance database has since been removed for being fabricated.

“Two-year-old Baby Dies During Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Experiments on Children,” reads a screenshot shared on Facebook, accompanied by an image of a crying child receiving a shot (here). Other posts sharing this screenshot can be found here , here and here .

The headline comes from an April 30 article on the website Natural News (here), described by the Vox news outlet as “one of the internet’s worst conspiracy sites” (here).

The Natural News article cites the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the federal vaccine safety surveillance program run by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as the source of a report: “the two-year-old girl received her second dose of Pfizer’s DNA-modifying mRNA injection on February 25. On March 1, she suffered some kind of serious adverse reaction. On March 3, she died. No further details were provided.”

As the Reuters Fact Check team debunked here , vaccines using new mRNA technology, such as the COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, do not alter recipients’ DNA.

Natural News links to another website called Great Game India (here), which shows an image of a VAERS entry stating that a two-year-old female child in Virginia received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on February 25, developed an adverse reaction on March 1, and died two days later.

As Reuters has previously clarified here and here , anyone can report events to VAERS, whose database contains unverified information.

“The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable,” a disclaimer on the CDC website says (here).

When downloading the data, users are presented with the further caveat that the data does not include information from investigations into reported cases. The disclaimer also says “the inclusion of events in VAERS data does not imply causality” (here).

In this case, the entry for the two-year-old was fabricated, a CDC spokesperson told Reuters via phone, who said the report was consequently removed from the VAERS database.

As reported here by Vice, this is not the first time members of the general public have entered fabricated VAERS reports.

Indeed the entry’s listed VAERS ID, 1074247, can no longer be found in VAERS data available for download here .

With no COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use for children that young, the posts and articles claim that the child was part of Pfizer and BioNTech’s ongoing pediatric COVID-19 vaccine trial for children under the age of 12.

But participants in this clinical trial, which include children as young as six months, did not start until a month after the two-year-old child in Virginia allegedly received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, making it impossible for this child to have received a dose.

The first volunteers in the early-stage pediatric trial were given their first injections on March 24, a Pfizer spokesperson Sharon Castillo told Reuters the following day (here).

A Pfizer spokesperson told Reuters via email that there have been no verified reports of any death in the company’s pediatric trial.

Of the more than 259 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the United States from Dec. 14, 2020 through May 10, 2021, “VAERS received 4,434 reports of death (0.0017%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.” Having reviewed “available clinical information including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records,” the CDC found “no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths” (here).

VERDICT

False. A report of a two-year-old dying after receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was fabricated.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here . 



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