Did COVID-19 vaccines lead to the number of stillbirths being "nearly doubled" in Singapore? No, that's not true: The former journalist who posted the claim retracted it on his blog, noting that he missed the fact a law change in Singapore makes it mandatory to report all births, infant deaths and stillbirths, including those that occur outside hospitals. That resulted in statistical increases unrelated to COVID-19 vaccine injections. The related Instagram post had not been updated at the time of writing.
The claim appeared in a post on Instagram on March 2, 2023. The caption opened:
My new Stack, about the disturbing rise of stillbirths in Singapore, where over 95% of women of childbearing age (maybe as high as 98%) are mRNA jabbed.
The text of the post, which appears in the screenshot of an article by Alex Berenson, reads:
URGENT: Stillbirths nearly doubled in Singapore, one of the world's most mRNA vaccinated countries, in 2022
Meanwhile, live births plunged. The changes began in March 2022, EXACTLY nine months after Singapore mass vaccinated people of childbearing age
This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of the writing of this fact check:
(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Mar 3 18:49:08 2023 UTC)
Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter, was banned on Twitter in August of 2021 for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a March 1, 2023, now-archived post on his "Unreported Truths" blog, he declared a link between the increased number of stillbirths in Singapore in 2022 and pregnant women being injected with the COVID-19 vaccine. That link was featureed a day later in the Instagram post.
Berenson updated his original blog post with an opening correction note that reads:
NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS ESSENTIALLY INCORRECT - SINGAPORE CHANGED ITS DEFINITION OF STILLBIRTHS. SEE POSTED CORRECTION OF MARCH 2, 2023.
I am leaving it up in the interests of completeness (and because its statistics about the fall in live births are correct), but know that it is wrong.
In a March 2, 2023, blog post titled, "URGENT: Update/CORRECTION to previous Singapore article," Berenson provided context as to why the previously published article included incorrect information:
Singapore broadened its definition of stillbirth in late May 2022, causing a reported increase in stillbirths.
He proceeded to link to a Singapore statute titled "Registration of Births and Deaths Bill," established on May 10, 2021, which defined the newly altered reporting process of births and deaths in Singapore. At the time this fact check was written, Berenson had not updated his Instagram post, which declares there is a link between COVID-19 vaccination and still births.
The new statute was explained in this July 5, 2021, Channel NewsAsia article titled, "Reporting births, deaths and stillbirths to be compulsory after Bill passed in Parliament." According to the article, "... the changes affect mainly babies born outside a hospital. In such cases, parents have to report the birth as soon as possible, in person ... Those who fail to do so could face a fine of up to S$1,500 and jailed for up to a month."
A Google news search exploring the inquiry of COVID-19 vaccines causing an increase in general stillbirths produced no results to substantiate Berenson's claims otherwise.
Lead Stories has reached out to the World Health Organization for a statement regarding the claim and will update this fact check if a response is received.
Lead Stories has debunked other claims by Alex Berenson, now a novelist, regarding COVID-19 vaccines. These fact-checks can be read here.