New Zealand arguably is one of the countries that best handled the pandemic with just less than 4,000 confirmed COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic versus the United States' 41.6 million. Now that COVID vaccines have been rolled out in the small island country, however, it appears that more have died following a COVID shot than the ones who died from the infection itself.

The news came via right wing commentator and YouTube show "Slightly Offensive" host Elijah Schaffer, who recently took to Twitter to share a short and simple statistic. Schaffer wrote, "SHOCKING: New Zealand reported 27 total deaths 'with' COVID-19 & 40 deaths possibly related to the Pfizer vaccine since 2020."

"This week they reported 0 C19 deaths & 3 deaths possibly related to the vaccine, Making the vaccine more deadly in theory to NZ'ers than the actual virus," Schaffer wrote, sharing a screenshot from Medsafe or New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority.

Medsafe reported that as of August 28, there were a total of 40 deaths after the administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine, of which 15 cases were still under investigation and one death was "likely due to vaccine induced myocarditis," a common severe side effect of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID vaccines. New Zealand has had 27 deaths from the disease itself.

NOQ Report argued that "vaccine adverse reactions are universally underreported" and that New Zealand is most likely "inflating their COVID death numbers because there simply isn't very much data to examine." The report concluded that "it's certain the vaccine death numbers are much, much higher."

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Herald reported in July that by June 30, there were 451 new adverse events reported following inoculation with the COVID vaccine, with 23 being labeled as serious. Among the 23 serious cases, two were deaths.

In response to the rise in new COVID cases in the country, its largest city Auckland has been ordered to remain under strict lockdown for at least another week, The Guardian reported.

New Zealand reported 54 new cases of COVID this weekend and an additional 33 on Monday, showing an uptick in the national average. There have been a total of 955 cases in the outbreak.

While authorities believe that Auckland does not have a widespread transmission yet, the unlinked cases serve as evidence that there may be community transmission already. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that while there are 17 active unlinked cases, three or four are of major concern in a country where stringent contact tracing is in place.

"The fact that we are finding them through surveillance and community testing, rather than through contact tracing, that is what we're concerned about because that does present risk," Ardern said. "Alert level 4 is working. Level 4 remains our best option to beat Delta and contain the virus at this stage of the outbreak. We don't want to risk the sacrifices everyone has made, and all the hard work you've put in, by moving to alert level three too quickly."