(LifeSiteNews) — A research article published in the prestigious medical journal BMJ has revealed that the U.S. government keeps a private database for reported vaccine injuries.
According to the report by journalist Jennifer Block, the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) consists of a public database that only includes the initial report of a suspected vaccine injury case and a private “back end system” that contains “all updates and corrections—such as a formal diagnosis, recovery, or death.”
VAERS is co-operated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is a public reporting system where everyone can submit a report of a suspected side effect caused by a vaccine. Block writes that all information about a case submitted after the initial reports are kept in a separate, private system, a fact that was reportedly confirmed by an FDA official.
The BMJ article tells the story of rheumatologist Patrick Whelan, who submitted a VAERS report for one of his patients, a 7-year-old boy who suffered a cardiac arrest and was admitted to the hospital after receiving a COVID shot. The boy eventually died in the hospital, and Whelan wanted to update his report but found that “there was no mechanism for [updating] it.”
Whelan later discussed the case with FDA official Narayan Nair, the division director overseeing VAERS. The rheumatologist was surprised to find out that the VAERS report about his patient still showed that the boy was submitted to the hospital but contained no update regarding his death.
“I made the false assumption that that conversation would result in an adjustment in the publicly reported case,” Whelan said. “Think of all the people who are using VAERS data as a means to assess what’s happening with the vaccines—except in this case you’d be left with the false impression that the child had had a serious adverse event,” instead of seeing that he had died.
Vaccine injury advocate Renée Capo wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that she had a similar experience with her VAERS report.
“I was forced to file my own #VAERS report but after I sent all my medical records & proof of my #vaccineinjuries with diagnosis’s my original report is all that you can see on the VAERS website!” Capo stated. “NONE of my actual adverse reactions are able to be seen, just a list of rushed symptoms as I was dying & completely incoherent!”
According to the BMJ report, Nair explained in a meeting in December 2022, “There’s two parts to VAERS, the front end system and the back end … Anything derived from medical records by law” cannot be viewed on the public system. According to the CDC, this is because they seek to protect “patient confidentiality.”
However, as Block noted in her report, the FDA system collection reports on drugs (FEARS) does operate a publicly accessible system that gets updated when new information about a case is submitted. The same applies to the FDA’s Medical Device Reporting system, which also maintains a public database. This casts serious doubt upon the official explanation as to why VAERS keeps the data secret.
BMJ reports that neither the FDA nor the CDC gave an explanation regarding this contradiction. An FDA spokesperson noted that “patients can submit formal requests under FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] to obtain the full record of their report.”
VEARS is understaffed, has failed to publish reports
Jennifer Block points to the tremendous increase of cases reported to VAERS from pre-COVID level to today.
Before the COVID jab rollout, VAERS received around 60,000 reports of suspected adverse events after vaccinations each year. In 2021, the number of reports “shot up to a million, and another 660,000 have been filed since,” Block writes.
“Nearly one in five [of the reports since 2021] meet the criteria of serious,” she wrote, adding that “the vast majority of recent reports are related to covid vaccines.”
VAERS appeared to be severely understaffed to handle such an enormous influx of reports properly. The BMJ cites documents acquired through Freedom of Information Act requests that show “Pfizer has around 1000 more full time employees working on vaccine surveillance than the CDC, despite the latter’s responsibility for handling adverse event reports on all products.”
“The latest confirmed number of staff, as of November 2022—at the Immunization Safety Office, which houses VAERS—is 70-80 full time equivalent workers,” Block writes.
The BMJ says it has spoken to over a dozen people, including a state medical examiner and several physicians, who were never contacted or contacted months later by VAERS after filing reports of serious vaccine side effects.
Moreover, the vaccine injury advocacy nonprofit React19 conducted a review of 126 VAERS reports done by volunteers. According to the organization, 12% of these reports had disappeared from the database, and 22% never received a permanent VEARS ID, meaning that around one-third of the observed reports did not appear in the public database.