VAERS, like the British Yellow Card system, has long been used by antivaxxers to create fake news about vaccines.
Find out why VAERS is so important to doctors, and yet so easily abused by antivaxxers!
VAERS : What Is It?
VAERS is an acronym for the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System used by the US government.
Like the British Yellow Card system, it is a passive reporting system that relies on individuals to submit reports of their adverse reactions to vaccines.
This open design used by both VAERS and Yellow Card lets scientists catch very rare adverse effects that even large trials may not catch.
For example, anaphylactic reactions to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are so rare, they didn’t show up in their large Phase 3 trials at all. They were only identified through VAERS after mass vaccinations started.
Here’s How Antivaxxers Create Fake News Using VAERS!
Both the American VAERS and the British Yellow Card system suffer from the same problem – their open catch-all design lets ANYONE file a report.
Not just parents and patients, but also any Tom, Dick or Harry with nothing better to do. And you don’t even have to ever been to the United States to file a report!
This allows antivaxxers to abuse both the VAERS and Yellow Card systems to create fake news about vaccines.
Back in 2004, James Laidler famously filed an adverse reaction report into VAERS, claiming that his annual influenza vaccine turned him into the Incredible Hulk!
Incredibly, the CDC had to ask for his permission to remove the fake report. Otherwise, it would remain in the database forever!
More recently, anti-vaccination websites are using VAERS and Yellow Card reports to fabricate fake news that vaccines are killing people.
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The CDC is well-aware of this problem, which is why they explicitly pointed out to everyone that :
- Reports may include incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental and unverified information.
- The number of reports alone cannot be interpreted or used to reach conclusions about the existence, severity, frequency, or rates of problems associated with vaccines.
So the next time you read an article claiming that VAERS or the Yellow Card system are reporting injuries and deaths from this or that vaccine, take them with a BIG, BIG PINCH of salt. None of those reports are verified.
VAERS : Anyone Can File A Fake Report!
To demonstrate this point, here is a FAKE report I attempted to file into VAERS, with the following information :
I did not hit Submit though, because I did not want to add another fake adverse event to the holster of anti-vaccination advocates.
But take a look at the screenshots, and see just how easy it is for anyone to make a fake VAERS report. There is no need to verify any personal details, and you can do this from anywhere in the world!
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