Mortality Rate and Characteristics of Deaths Following COVID-19 Vaccination

Front Med (Lausanne). 2021 May 14;8:670370. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2021.670370. eCollection 2021.


Background: The emergency use authorization for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines brought both hopes and concerns to the Americans and others. We aimed to estimate the mortality rate of COVID-19 vaccination and presented characteristics of deaths following COVID-19 vaccination. Methods: Data on deaths following COVID-19 vaccination were obtained from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) from December 11, 2020 through January 8, 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker was used to identify the total number of people receiving COVID-19 vaccines during the same period to estimate the mortality rate. Stratified analysis was conducted by the location of vaccination. Results: As of January 8, 2021, 55 deaths were reported, and the mortality rate of COVID-19 vaccination was 8.2 per million population. A total of 37 deaths were reported among long-term care facility residents, and the mortality rate was 53.4 per million population. Top reported comorbidities associated with deaths included hypertension, dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, and heart failure. In addition, dementia was more likely to be associated with deaths vaccinated at long-term care facilities than at other locations. Conclusion: The benefits of COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the potential risks in older frail populations, and our findings do not support actions to exclude older adults from being vaccinated. However, continued monitoring of COVID-19 vaccination is still warranted.

Keywords: COVID-19; long-term care facility; pharmacovigilance; safety; vaccine.