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Fact Check: COVID Deaths Among Vaccinated Massachusetts Residents
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Fact Check: COVID Deaths Among Vaccinated Massachusetts Residents

A claim that vaccinated patients accounted for 45 percent of deaths is false.

A viral tweet from conservative talk show host Steve Deace claims that “Massachusetts reporting 45% of its Covid deaths last week were fully vaccinated.” 

The tweet, which has also been widely shared on Facebook, is accompanied by an October 12 report from the Massachusetts Department of Health, that states: “As of October 9, 2021 there were 4,660,716 fully vaccinated people and there were 44,498 cases in vaccinated people.” These numbers are cumulative.

The claim that 45 percent of  Massauchuestts’s COVID-19 deaths were from vaccinated people is false. The tweet misrepresented the data. The report did not find 45 percent of vaccinated people died of COVID. Instead the report shows that 45 COVID deaths among those vaccinated, which works out to .007 percent of the vaccinated population.*  

In an email to The Dispatch Fact Check, a representative from the Massachusetts Department of Health said: “There were 45 newly reported deaths last week among vaccinated people, but those deaths did not just occur in the last week but rather could have happened at any time in the last 6-plus months and were only just reported.” The spokesperson further added that the “proportion of fully vaccinated people who have died from COVID is 0.008 percent.”

It’s worth noting that 0.008 percent is the current figure, which can be viewed here,  while 0.007 percent is from last week’s report.

*Correction, October 22: This article initially stated incorrectly that the 45 COVID deaths among vaccinated patients represented .007 percent of Massachusetts’ total COVID deaths.

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Khaya Himmelman is a fact checker for The Dispatch. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Barnard College.