From DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: Correcting misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines; and a reminder to take our COVID-19 impact survey

Are there any deaths in Idaho that have been caused by the COVID-19 vaccine?

That is a question we are getting a lot. Across social media and other communication channels, misinformation is being shared that connects the COVID-19 vaccine to deaths in Idaho. This is simply not true.

In Idaho, no death certificate has identified the COVID-19 vaccine as the underlying cause of death in 2020 and 2021. The “underlying cause of death” means the actual event or disease that caused the death. 

We have had six deaths in people ranging from 69 to 86 years of age, for whom the death certificates mentioned the COVID-19 vaccine. All of those death certificates identified other underlying causes of death such as cancer and heart disease. Two listed the vaccine as a potential complication. The others just noted the person had received a COVID-19 vaccine.

So, what about deaths caused by vaccination reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)?

As you likely know, VAERS is an open system where anyone can report information. Information listed there is not confirmed on that site – it is a repository to collect information that is analyzed for serious events and trends that will be followed-up on as needed.

Serious events in VAERS, such as deaths that reportedly occurred after the COVID-19 vaccine, are investigated. The results of those investigations in Idaho have found other causes explaining the death, including cancer and heart disease. Which brings me back to the point made above – the COVID-19 vaccine has not been identified as the underlying cause of death on any Idaho death certificates.

DHW recently did a blog about VAERS and you can read it at: https://dhwblog.com/2021/10/05/covid-19-qa-vaccine-information-on-vaers-cancer-and-efficacy/

CDC guidance on VAERS is located at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vaers.html).

Behavioral Health COVID-19 impact survey

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economies, businesses, schools, healthcare services, and the lives of Idahoans throughout the state. The Division of Behavioral Health in DHW is conducting an anonymous statewide survey to better understand how attitudes, needs, and behaviors of Idahoans have continued to evolve in relation to the pandemic.

Because the pandemic has impacted our lives in so many ways, we are trying to understand more about how it has affected you and how we can respond to your needs more effectively.

The survey is open to all Idahoans through Oct. 31, 2021, and can be found at: https://app.keysurvey.com/f/41586564/24e3/

After the results are compiled, they will be posted to the Division of Behavioral Health webpagecoronavirus.idaho.gov, and https://ioem.idaho.gov/covidhelpnow/.

The DBH COVID-19 website provides substantial resources, information, and real time updates, including information on our statewide COVID Help Now Hotline and our COVID Counseling Assistance for Frontline Workers.

I hope you all have a safe and healthy weekend. Please choose to get vaccinated if you have not done so already.

2 thoughts on “From DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: Correcting misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines; and a reminder to take our COVID-19 impact survey

  1. Steven Wallace

    Covid case data collection, prior to the vaccine roll-out, did not factor in underlying conditions. If underlying conditions had been taken into consideration, during that time frame, the seasonal flu would have played itself out like it always has, without all the drama.

    It is intellectually dishonest to factor in underlying conditions on one-hand while dismissing it on the other. Shame on you!

  2. Amy

    Agree with Steven Wallace comment above.

    Would the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare care to discuss the 11,555 Vaccine Breakthrough cases listed on your website? I don’t see those important statistics highlighted.
    Seems like a lot of positive COVID cases for people vaccinated with, “safe and effective,” vaccine.

    There is a big trust problem between Idahoans and the Department of Health/the hospitals in our State. Using words like “misinformation” make us trust you less.

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