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HomeFact-CheckDid the Pfizer vaccine cause miscarriage in 44% of pregnant women during trial? How...

Did the Pfizer vaccine cause miscarriage in 44% of pregnant women during trial? How a viral blog post made flawed calculations

This is not the first time that misleading and false claims have been made about vaccines. In May this year, when Pfizer released documents about its vaccine, another false claim surfaced. Many had claimed that the actual vaccine efficacy of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is 12%, not 95. However, this claim was found to be completely false and baseless.

For over a week, many social media posts have been circulating making the claims that nearly half of the pregnant women who participated in the Pfizer vaccine trial lost their babies, that the fact has been revealed in company documents etc. The claims have now gone viral all over the world, with many versions of it, some posts even claiming that it was the vaccine that caused 44% of women to suffer miscarriages.

Tweet by US politician claiming 44% pregnant women lost babies in Pfizer vaccine trial
US-based website claiming that Pfizer trial caused miscarriages in nearly half the pregnant women
A screenshot circulating on social media claims that 44% of pregnant women lost their babies after taking the Pfizer vaccine

After spending some time searching for the source of the claims, we found that it was first made by one Dr Naomi Wolf, who is reportedly the CEO of Dailyclout. Dr Wolf reportedly ran a crowdsourced project going through Pfizer documents released by FOIA request and found that nearly 44% of pregnant women who had participated in a Pfizer trial suffered miscarriages. There is a video where Dr Naomi Wolf is seen making the claims.

Dailyclout is a blog run by one Dr Naomi Wolf. A post by her claimed, “chilling data showing 44 percent of pregnant women participating in Pfizer’s mRNA COVID vaccine trial suffered miscarriages.” The same claims has been taken up by several websites, blogs and thousands of social media posts all over the world.

The same Dailyclout has now updated its earlier post about the 44% claim, and have added that their claims were false. They added a footnote stating that two independent researchers have found that the 44% figure was inaccurate and the number of miscarriages reported were lower.

A footnote in Dailyclout.io ‘s post about the Pfizer vaccine

What is the actual story behind the 44% claim and how statistical data was misinterpreted?

Naomi Wolf’s blog post that has now been shared in thousands of screenshots and social media posts, had first cited that they accessed over 3600 pages of documents on Pfizer information submitted to the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in March 2021. Those documents apparently showed 22 instances of pregnancy loss without outside intervention before 20th week.

Now, there are several reasons, sometimes unknown reasons why women suffer miscarriages. A data analysis by researcher Phil Kerpen stated that the figure of 44 was incorrect and there same instances of ‘adverse events’ were calculated twice by Naomi’s ‘volunteers’.

It is notable here that the blog post itself had stated that the documents contained information about 50 pregnancies that occurred after the women received their first dose of vaccine.

In a series of tweets, Phil Kerpen explained how the blog post’s conclusions were flawed and when properly examined, showed only 11 miscarriages. That too, when the subject IDs were compared, only 3 were found, indicating that 8 of the other women may have been pregnant before the dose, but the documents in question did not have that exact information.

Ctiting the documents that Wolf’s team had used to claim 44% of miscarriages, Kerpen concluded that the figure was wrong and only 3 instances of miscarriage can be seen in the documents showing 50 cases.

tweet by Phil Kerpen

In a statement to the Associated Press, Jeffrey Morris, director of the division of biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine told that the methodology used by Naomi Wolf’s team is flawed and they have calculated same ‘adverse event’ multiple times. Also, the documents only listed the ‘adverse events’, and nowehere mention that they were ’caused by the vaccine’, rather, they were a listing of adverse events that occured after the trial participants received the first dose.

Furthermore, the document lists 50 pregnancies that occurred after the first dose, meaning, it does not list the details of all the women who were pregnant during the trial period.

It is notable here that about 10-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriages and from the documents cited by Wolf’s team, there is no way to conclude that the instances of miscarriages “were caused by the vaccine”.

Conclusion: No, the claim that 44% of pregnant women lost their babies after receiving the Pfizer vaccine is not correct

While the vaccine may have some adverse effects, as all Covid vaccines were granted emergency usage permits, and we are still waiting for detailed reports on long-term clinical trials, the claim made by Naomi Wolf’s blog post, that 44% of pregnant women lost their babies after receiving the Pfizer vaccine, is wrong.

Pfizer’s vaccine and its big pharma lobbying have generated quite some discontent among the masses. There have been instances where the pharma giant has tried to silence critical voices and caused alarm over its efforts to save itself from legal liabilities. But valid criticism and false claims are two different things. The “44% pregnancies ended in miscarriages due to Pfizer” appears to be in the ‘false claim’ category.

Pfizer claims and facts

This is not the first time that misleading and false claims have been made about vaccines. In May this year, when Pfizer released documents about its vaccine, another false claim surfaced. Many had claimed that the actual vaccine efficacy of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is 12%, not 95. However, this claim was found to be completely false and baseless.

Pfizer vaccine, and its lobbying for usage permission in India

It is notable here that Pfizer’s Covid vaccine was widely used in the USA, Europe and many other nations. But the Pfizer lobby’s efforts to market the vaccine in India had fallen flat due to a number of reasons. India is the world’s largest producer of vaccines and the Indian government had since the very beginning made it clear that Indians will be given ‘Made In India’ vaccines. The Indian government primarily procured Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin manufactured by Bharat Biotech and vaccinated almost the entire eligible population free of cost.

Pfizer had tried to negotiate with the government of India, but as per reports, their high cost, indemnity clauses, refusal to conduct local trials, and refusal to technology transfer made the government of India reject the vaccine. Some reports had mentioned that Pfizer wanted the government of India to grant them immunity from prosecution in case of lawsuits due to adverse effects.

Additionally, there was a considerable lobbying effort where many so-called Leftist ‘intellectuals’, and even powerful politicians had tried to generate negative sentiments about Indian vaccines, portraying Pfizer vaccines as ‘better vaccine’.

However, recurring Covid waves in USA and Europe, delays in ‘opening up’ and casualty figures eventually proved that the US vaccines were not as good as they were marketed to be.

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Sanghamitra
Sanghamitra
reader, writer, dreamer, no one

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