It is a common anti-vaccine argument that fewer than 1% of vaccine injuries are reported to VAERS.
They even think that they have evidence from Harvard to support their claim!
Are Fewer Than 1% of Vaccine Injuries Reported to VAERS?
Are fewer than 1% of vaccine injuries reported to VAERS?
It has long been suspected that reports to VAERS are under-reported, as it is a passive reporting system.
The original claims for under-reporting to VAERS were based on an old study about drug reactions and were not specific to vaccines though.
Is that the Harvard study?
“Restructuring at CDC and consequent delays in terms of decision making have made it challenging despite best efforts to move forward with discussions regarding the evaluation of ESP:VAERS performance in a randomized trial and comparison of ESP:VAERS performance to existing VAERS and Vaccine Safety Datalink data. However, Preliminary data were collected and analyzed and this initiative has been presented at a number of national symposia.”Electronic Support for Public Health–Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (ESP:VAERS)
They are talking about a report, Electronic Support for Public Health–Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (ESP:VAERS), that was conducted at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc.
“Preliminary data were collected from June 2006 through October 2009 on 715,000 patients, and 1.4 million doses (of 45 different vaccines) were given to 376,452 individuals. Of these doses, 35,570 possible reactions (2.6 percent of vaccinations) were identified.”Electronic Support for Public Health–Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (ESP:VAERS)
It is very important to note that all the study found is that all possible reactions, including minor reactions, like pain and fever, are not common.
They didn’t actually finish the report to see how commonly those reactions were reported to VAERS.
But we already know that more serious reactions are reported to VAERS much more routinely.
“Sensitivities ranged from 72% for poliomyelitis after the oral poliovirus vaccine to less than 1% for rash and thrombocytopenia after the MMR vaccine.”Rosenthal et al on The reporting sensitivities of two passive surveillance systems for vaccine adverse events
And there has even been a more recent report, Advanced Clinical Decision Support for Vaccine Adverse Event Detection and Reporting, which also used an ESP-VAERS system, that found great improvements in reporting of adverse events to VAERS.
Even more importantly, even with it’s limitations, VAERS works!
“Despite its limitations, VAERS effectively detected a possible problem soon after introduction of RRV-TV in the United States.”Lynn R. Zanardi, et al on Intussusception Among Recipients of Rotavirus Vaccine: Reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System
Although it would be ideal to have even more reports sent to VAERS, time and again, we have seen that VAERS works.
“On November 23, 2010, the combination of the coding term “febrile convulsion” and the Fluzone(®) TIV product exceeded a predetermined threshold in the VAERS database. By December 10, we confirmed 43 reports of febrile seizure following TIV in children aged 6-23 months. Clinical features of most reports were consistent with typical uncomplicated febrile seizures, and all children recovered. Further epidemiologic assessment of a possible association between TIV and febrile seizures was undertaken in a separate, population-based vaccine safety monitoring system.”Leroy et al on Febrile seizures after 2010-2011 influenza vaccine in young children, United States: a vaccine safety signal from the vaccine adverse event reporting system.
As we have seen, for VAERS to work, we don’t need all side effects and reactions to be reported.
“VAERS is primarily a safety signal detection and hypothesis generating system. Generally, VAERS data cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused an adverse event. VAERS data interpreted alone or out of context can lead to erroneous conclusions about cause and effect as well as the risk of adverse events occurring following vaccination.”Shimabukuro et al on Safety monitoring in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
Also, VAERS is not the only safety system that we have to make sure that our vaccines are safe.
More on the Percentage of Reports to VAERS
- Vaccine Safety Datalink
- Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Project
- Global Vaccine Side Effect Reporting Systems
- Are There Any Long-Term Studies On Vaccine Safety?
- Are Vaccines Evaluated for Mutagenicity, Carcinogenicity or Impairment of Fertility?
- Are Vaccines Tested Together?
- Why Are You Still Worried About the MMR Vaccine?
- Electronic Support for Public Health–Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (ESP:VAERS)
- Automated Detection and Reporting of Vaccine Adverse Events: ESP-VAERS
- Vaccination informed consent – more anti-vaccine rhetoric from ICAN
- Study – Advanced Clinical Decision Support for Vaccine Adverse Event Detection and Reporting.
- Study – The reporting sensitivities of two passive surveillance systems for vaccine adverse events
- CDC – Surveillance for Adverse Events Following Immunization Using the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
- Study – Safety monitoring in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
- Study – Intussusception Among Recipients of Rotavirus Vaccine: Reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System
- Study – Febrile seizures after 2010-2011 influenza vaccine in young children, United States: a vaccine safety signal from the vaccine adverse event reporting system.
- Study – Safety monitoring in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
- Announcement: Implementation of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System 2.0 Reporting Form
- Electronic medical record Support for Public health
- Debunking anti-vaccine arguments: VAERS, package inserts, and the VICP do not prove that vaccines are dangerous
- How vaccine litigation distorts the VAERS database
- VAERS as “evidence” of vaccine harm
- On Using VAERS
- VAERS a Few Things We Need to Discuss
- Harvard vaccine study? Not really, more Tetyana Obukhanych nonsense