VACCINE TEAM | Are people dying from the vaccines?

WKYT Vaccine Team Q&A
WKYT Vaccine Team Q&A(WKYT)
Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 9:38 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As we continue to watch vaccines roll out across Kentucky, we are here to answer your questions on the vaccine.

Why are we not hearing about the more than 1,600 deaths related to the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System is co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

VAERS has received more than 1,600 reports of deaths that occurred after a patient received a COVID-19 vaccine. However, VAERS cannot independently verify whether any vaccine was the cause of a patient’s death. There are a few reasons for this.

First, VAERS accepts reports from health care workers, caregivers, and the public. That means anyone can make a report, with or without medical knowledge. This is from the VAERS website:

“VAERS accepts reports from anyone. Patients, parents, caregivers and healthcare providers (HCP) are encouraged to report adverse events after vaccination to VAERS even if it is not clear that the vaccine caused the adverse event.”

Second, VAERS encourages people to submit reports whether they believe a vaccine had anything to do with a patient’s death. It’s one of the limitations listed on the system’s website:

“Vaccine providers are encouraged to report any clinically significant health problem following vaccination to VAERS, whether or not they believe the vaccine was the cause.”

VAERS also acknowledges that it’s easy to misinterpret reports as hard scientific facts. Ultimately, scientists can use data from VAERS, but VAERS data alone cannot confirm that any death was caused by a vaccine. This is also from the VAERS website:

“One of the main limitations of VAERS data is that it cannot determine if the vaccine caused the reported adverse event. This limitation has caused confusion in the publicly available data from VAERS WONDER, specifically regarding the number of reported deaths. There have been instances where people have misinterpreted reports of deaths following vaccination as deaths caused by the vaccines; that is not accurate.”

On Tuesday, the CDC released a report on deaths and other serious symptoms possibly connected to COVID-19 vaccines, using data from VAERS. Here’s what they were able to determine after looking at the 1,637 reports currently in the VAERS database:

“CDC and FDA physicians review each case report of death as soon as notified and CDC requests medical records to further assess reports. A review of available clinical information including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records revealed no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths.”

While the CDC and other organizations are constantly learning more things about the virus and vaccines, at this time scientists have not been able to confirm that any post-vaccine death was caused by the vaccine. Their research, like vaccine rollout, is ongoing.

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