I have read the journal article and can compare its methods with my own very extensive experience of survey research.
I was long of the view that online sampling is crap but it is so extensively used these days that I have to give it some credence. And this survey did employ extensive precautions to ensure that something like a true sample was obtained.
So the reported doubts about the conclusions would seem to be driven by their unpalatibility rather than any methodological problems. Prof Skidmore did carry out a careful survey by current standards.
His conclusions are probably on the whole at the better end of the available research. If his work is discredited an awful lot of other survey research would also go down in flames
And an alternative way of assessing the numbers was badly needed now we know -- largely courtesy of Elon Musk -- how much the official figures were "edited". American official figures for anything these days are about as trustworthy as the old Soviet production figures
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.
Funding for the survey was provided by Catherine Austin Fitts.
A woman of the same name - the former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George H.W. Bush - recorded a lengthy interview as part of the 2021 documentary film 'Planet Lockdown'. The 90-minute video makes a number of unsubstantiated claims about the Covid vaccine programme and cause of the pandemic.
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.' He claimed, however, that the actual death toll could be closer to the 330,000 mark, according to his calculations.
And Professor Skidmore, who is listed by his university as an expert on finances and the economics of natural disasters, stated the figure was 'after fatalities that may have occurred regardless of inoculation are removed'.
Experts raised concerns over the study's methodology.
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.'
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 667 million doses administered.
These reports were made via the US's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), and doesn't conclusively mean a death is actually linked to a vaccine, as it could be a coincidence.
All Americans are urged to report any health problem they notice post-vaccination, even if they aren't certain the jab was to blame.
US health authorities have verified nine deaths reported via VAERs that are 'causally associated' to Covid vaccines after reviewing the information like death certificates, and autopsy and medical records.
The UK has a similar reporting mechanism in place, called the Yellow Card Scheme, where around 475,000 adverse events to Covid vaccines have been recorded.
Reports of flatulence, yawning and crying have been logged by vaccine recipients. But it does not mean that the jabs are to blame.
Under the surveillance system in the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has received 19 UK reports of 'suspected adverse drug reactions with a fatal outcome' linked to the bivalent Covid Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 32 reports for the bivalent Covid vaccine Moderna.
No fatal outcomes following the Novavax Covid vaccine have been reported.
The MHRA does not publicize the exact number of fatal outcomes linked with the AstraZeneca jab, which does not contain mRNA unlike the Pfizer and Moderna jabs.
Multiple real-world studies have repeatedly shown that Covid vaccines are safe and have saved lives in the pandemic.
Yet, like with every medicine, drug and procedure there are risks. People can have allergic reactions to components of vaccines and can suffer from a rare but dangerous heart inflammation called myocarditis.
Some have even died from blood clots, a rare complication of AstraZeneca's jab that eventually saw it restricted for the over-40s. The side effect was so rare that it wasn't spotted in the initial trials involving tens of thousands of people.
But antivaxxers claim deaths from vaccine have also been underreported by global health authorities and masked as a mysterious rise in excess deaths. Such tolls have seen them call for jab roll-outs to be suspended.
Professor Skidmore himself said that the problems reported by survey respondents, including heart attacks and strokes, 'are consistent with Pfizer documentation about the potential risks of the Covid vaccine'.
Health chiefs have repeatedly dismissed fears that mRNA jabs are behind any rise in heart problems.
Latest official data, published earlier this week, shows the US has suffered nearly 300,000 more deaths than usual since the pandemic began that cannot be attributed to Covid.
Leading experts believe these are mostly made up of surges in deaths from cancer, heart disease, drug overdoses and firearms during the pandemic. However, a full analysis by the CDC is still likely weeks away.
Excess deaths across England have been on the rise since summer but have spiked in recent weeks, running a fifth above expected levels. Almost 3,000 more people died than usual during the first full week of January alone.
Experts have blamed the NHS crisis — which has seen record waits for ambulances and in A&E — as well as a brutal wave of flu and the freezing temperatures logged in December.
Charities, including the British Heart Foundation, have warned that 'significant and widespread disruption to heart care services' is to blame for excess coronary heart disease-related deaths.
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