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Yet Another Misuse of Vaccine Data

A Virginia-based, self-described “independent liberty activist in the leadership of Potomac Tea Party” just published a blog where he claims “more than 13,000 people in the U.S. have died from adverse reactions to COVID vaccines, based on official government numbers.” 

He’s referring to the “VAERS COVID Vaccine Data” [Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System], which does mention “13,627 deaths” as of August 20, 2021. But that and other data come with a BIG disclaimer. Look under the VAERS header to find the “read the VAERS disclaimer.”

 Here’s what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says in part: 

HHS VAERS Disclaimer

VAERS accepts reports of adverse events and reactions that occur following vaccination. Healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the public can submit reports to the system. While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. In large part, reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. This creates specific limitations on how the data can be used scientifically. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind.

The adverse event reports that link a Covid-19 vaccine with a person’s death don’t just come from vaccine manufacturers or health care providers. The public can also submit these reports. And people have been submitting a bunch of them—623,341 reports at this writing.  

This is one of those instances where we need to reassert that “correlation is not causation.” As the University of Nebraska’s Medical Center explains: “VAERS cannot and does not determine whether a vaccine caused something.” 

Just consider a similar issue. Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a running debate about how many people have died from Covid-19 as opposed to people who died with Covid-19.  There are times when even the attending physicians aren’t sure. 

For 10 years I served on a university medical school’s board that had to approve all research experiments on humans. At times there were adverse events—negative outcomes that were either unexpected or worse than expected. 

Occasionally the doctors on the board got into rather heated debates about whether the trial drug or medical procedure caused the adverse event, or if it was one of the results of dealing with very sick patients. Even these top experts often disagreed. 

Yes, some people have died after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine, but even the health care professionals often don’t know or understand why. 

There has been a great deal of false and misleading information about vaccines—and especially the Covid-19 vaccines. Some of the misinformation is intentional, some just ill-informed. 

The blogger goes on to say, “The Covid vaccines are killing people left and right.” No, it’s actually Covid-19 that’s been killing people left and right.