How safe are the COVID vaccines? (updated)
I'll bet you haven't heard this: more congenital anomalies/birth defects and emergency room visits were reported after getting a COVID vaccine in the U.S. than after any of the other 93 vaccine types in the CDC's VAERS database. And more deaths than 92 other vaccine types.
Here is how COVID vaccines rank among 94 vaccine types in terms of reported post-vaccine adverse effects.
- Congenital anomaly/birth defect: 1.
- Emergency room: 1.
- Death: 2.
- Life threatening: 5.
- "Serious" adverse effects: 7.
- Hospitalized: 10.
- Permanent disability: 12.
- Total adverse effects: 15.
Here, for example, is the screen shot of the CDC's sorted list for the adverse effect of congenital anomaly/birth defect.
See that 144 such effects were reported in total, from all vaccines over all time tracked by the VAERS database. COVID vaccines account for 37 of them, or over 25%.
Of 23,950 emergency room visits following some kind of vaccination, the COVID vaccines accounted for 4,969, or over 20%. Of 11,559 deaths after getting some type of vaccine, COVID vaccines accounted for 1,153 of them, or almost 10%, and more than 92 of the 93 other vaccine types.
I got these numbers from the CDC's VAERS database on March 10, 2021. You can do the same. The CDC has this disclaimer.
VAERS accepts reports of adverse events and reactions that occur following vaccination. Healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the public can submit reports to VAERS. 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. Most 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.
So we can't say the vaccines caused these effects. These effects just happened to follow shortly after the vaccines were given.
One thing to keep in mind with these numbers is that COVID vaccines have been around for less than three months. Most of the other 93 vaccine type have been in use for years. The Pfizer vaccine was authorized for emergency use on December 11, 2020, Moderna on Dec. 18, and Jannsen on February 27, 2021. And most doses were not given until late February. More than half the doses given to date (March 10) were given in the last month (since Feb. 10).
By the way, these are "emergency use authorizations" by the FDA. That is not what is usually meant by "FDA approved."
Does the CDC warn us about side effects? Oh sure. Here is what you'll find on the CDC's "fact sheet" about the Pfizer vaccine, for example.
The most commonly reported side effects, which typically lasted several days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. Of note, more people experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose, so it is important for vaccination providers and recipients to expect that there may be some side effects after either dose, but even more so after the second dose.
The CDC pulls a clever trick there. It reports only on the "most commonly reported side effects," not the most serious ones. The milder side effects will almost always outnumber the more serious ones.
The CDC "fact sheet" mentioned nothing about the COVID vaccine type being the number-one leader in reported congenital anomalies/birth defects and emergency room visits. And nothing about having more reported deaths than all other vaccine types except one. You have to dig into the raw data to find these facts.
Just thought you might want to know this when someone tells you "it's safe."
Update from Randall Hoven:
The CDC just updated its VAERS database. COVID vaccines are now Number 1 in reported deaths.