How to lie with a survey: An online survey by Mark Skidmore of 2,840 people concludes that the total number of people who died from COVID-19 inoculation may be as high as 278,000


US health agencies have said they have received 18,769 reports of death related to a Covid vaccination, about 0.0028 per cent of the 667million doses administered.

Professor Skidmore: The total number of fatalities due to Covid inoculation may be as high as 278,000 but the actual death toll could be closer to the 330,000 mark, according to his calculations. 


Prestigious medical journal probes study that claimed Covid vaccines have killed up to 280,000 people in the US

  • EXCLUSIVE: Claim came from a survey of 2,840 people in December 2021
  • Study authored by Mark Skidmore was published in BMC Infectious Diseases 

By John Ely Senior Health Reporter and Emily Stearn, Health Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 14:44 GMT, 29 January 2023 | Updated: 15:04 GMT, 29 January 2

The publisher of some of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals is investigating a study which claimed Covid vaccines have killed up to 280,000 people across the US. 

The bombshell estimate has since been peddled by anti-vaxx groups across the planet, who used ‘the truth’ as ammunition to push for roll-outs across the world to be urgently suspended. 

It was also shared by the likes of Jordan Peterson, a Canadian psychologist who has shared discredited views online. 

Springer Nature told MailOnline it had now launched an investigation into the study, which was published in one of its underling journals.

‘Once the journal’s investigation has concluded and we have the necessary information to make an informed decision, we will follow up with the response that is most appropriate and that provides clarity for our readers,’ it said.

‘This may include potentially taking editorial action.’

The study, published this week in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases, was authored by an economist at Michigan State University. 

Professor Mark Skidmore, who has posted a number of articles critical of Covid jabs on his personal blog, used an online survey of 2,840 people taken in December 2021 to make his estimate of Covid vaccine-related deaths in the US.

Respondents of the survey were asked if they knew of someone who had suffered a severe health reaction from getting a Covid vaccine.

Of the total 612 people (22 per cent) who claimed they had, 57 people (2 per cent) said that they knew someone who had died as a result. 

These included deaths from heart attacks, strokes or blood clots. 

Professor Skidmore then used the data to create a vaccine fatality ratio and extrapolated that data to the entirety of the US population that received Covid vaccines in the first year they were deployed. 

Writing in the journal, Professor Skidmore said: ‘The total number of fatalities due to Covid inoculation may be as high as 278,000.’

Dr Simon Clarke, an associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, told MailOnline: ‘Any study on a self-selecting cohort of participants, like this one, automatically has a flaw in its methodology. 

‘They can never be said to be sampling a random selection of people, nor one that uses dispassionate participants. Put simply, people can lie to skew the findings.

‘There’s nothing wrong with a scientific journal publishing the work of an economist, but we should always be mindful of the limitations any study and just because it’s been accepted by a scientific journal does not automatically mean it’s right. Editors can make mistakes too.’

‘For me, the biggest problem with this paper is that fails to sufficiently highlight its own potential shortcomings and it was the job of the Editors to insist that they be included before they authorised publication.’



The role of social circle COVID-19 illness and vaccination experiences in COVID-19 vaccination decisions: an online survey of the United States population

Mark Skidmore

BMC Infectious Diseases volume 23, Article number: 51 (2023)

26 January 2023 Editor’s Note: Readers are alerted that the conclusions of this paper are subject to criticisms that are being considered by editors. Specifically, that the claims are unsubstantiated and that there are questions about the quality of the peer review. A further editorial response will follow the resolution of these issues.



Around the world, policymakers have clearly communicated that COVID-19 vaccination programs need to be accepted by a large proportion of the population to allow life return to normal. However, according to the Center for Disease Control, about 31% of the United States population had not completed the primary vaccination series as of November 2022.


The primary aim of this work is to identify the factors associated by American citizens with the decision to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, the proportion of fatal events from COVID-19 vaccinations was estimated and compared with the data in the VAERS database.


An online survey of COVID-19 health experiences was conducted. Information was collected regarding reasons for and against COVID-19 inoculations, experiences with COVID-19 illness and COVID-19 inoculations by survey respondents and their social circles. Logit regression analyses were carried out to identify factors influencing the likelihood of being vaccinated.


A total of 2840 participants completed the survey between December 18 and 23, 2021. 51% (1383 of 2840) of the participants were female and the mean age was 47 (95% CI 46.36–47.64) years. Those who knew someone who experienced a health problem from COVID-19 were more likely to be vaccinated (OR: 1.309, 95% CI 1.094–1.566), while those who knew someone who experienced a health problem following vaccination were less likely to be vaccinated (OR: 0.567, 95% CI 0.461–0.698). 34% (959 of 2840) reported that they knew at least one person who had experienced a significant health problem due to the COVID-19 illness. Similarly, 22% (612 of 2840) of respondents indicated that they knew at least one person who had experienced a severe health problem following COVID-19 vaccination. With these survey data, the total number of fatalities due to COVID-19 inoculation may be as high as 278,000 (95% CI 217,330–332,608) when fatalities that may have occurred regardless of inoculation are removed.


Knowing someone who reported serious health issues either from COVID-19 or from COVID-19 vaccination are important factors for the decision to get vaccinated. The large difference in the possible number of fatalities due to COVID-19 vaccination that emerges from this survey and the available governmental data should be further investigated.



…Estimates from the survey indicate that through the first year of the COVID-19 vaccination program there may be as many as 278,000 vaccine induced fatalities and up to a million severe adverse events…




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