Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Alyssa Erdley
News with Attitude 

Vaccines are Safe, Say Los Angeles County Health Officials, But What Proof Do They Have for the Claim?

The LA County Department of Public Health Department conducts no active surveillance of vaccine adverse reactions despite doling out 18 million doses of the drug

 

April 15, 2022

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LADPH's Chief Science Officer, Dr. Paul Simon, worries that Covid vaccine suspicion is translating into suspicions of previously accepted childhood vaccines

April 7, 2022 - The LA County Department of Public Health relies on data disseminated to them from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and direct voluntary reports from hospitals, care providers, and the public in assessing Covid vaccine safety. No active surveillance is performed.

This information comes from Dr. Paul Simon, MD, MPH, Chief Science Officer for the LADPH. County health officials do not actively follow up with patients who receive injections nor request and assess Covid vaccine data from patients who have developed other illnesses or who have died since the vaccine rollout.

The VAERS website is a place where anyone can report an adverse reaction to a vaccine: a health care provider, a hospital, an individual or the individual's family. Reporting is mandatory for health care providers, but there is no enforcement of the requirement. As Dr. Simon puts it, the VAERS system "casts a wide net."

The VAERS website itself warns, "VAERS reports alone can not be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness." In other words, just because someone reported an adverse event does not mean it was proven to be caused by the vaccine that was administered. This last fact is "very tricky to tease out," said Simon in an interview. "By chance alone, when you're vaccinating millions, some people are going to get sick or something's going to happen within a week...it's normal to believe the vaccine may have caused it."

The VAERS website explains that "the strength of the VAERS system is that it is national in scope and can quickly provide an early warning of a safety problem with a vaccine." The publicly available portion of the website does not clarify how many adverse events would constitute such a potential safety problem.

On April 6, the VAERS website showed there have been 59,813 serious hospitalizations reported as associated with one or other of the Covid-19 vaccines since the rollout. There have been 24,235 reports of deaths. The Centers for Disease Control claims on their website that there are 13,637 "preliminary reports of death" among people who have received a Covid vaccine. Not explained is how or why the CDC cut the number of preliminary death reports approximately in half. Neither website explains why even 13,637 reports of deaths and 59,813 hospitalizations do not constitute an "early warning of a safety problem."

Dr. Simon said the county received 126 preliminary reports of vaccine deaths from VAERS. An additional 8 reports were made locally and not yet reported to VAERS. "Of these 134, we have not identified any that are suspected vaccine-associated based on follow-up investigation," Simon wrote in an email. He did not elaborate on the nature of such an investigation. 610 total reports of death after a Covid vaccination were reported in California on VAERS.

"Trying to decide if something caused by vaccine or simply temporally related - it's hard to distinguish," Simon said. He added rather that analyses can be done to assess whether certain events, like a stroke, are happening at a rate higher than normal among vaccinated individuals.

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Potential risks and benefits from both the vaccines and Covid-19 are different for different age and other subgroups, so vaccine adverse reactions should be available data for rational decisions to be made

But the county is not collecting such data in order to make this kind of assessment, which would provide a clearer picture of the potential adverse effects that might occur from an innovative new vaccine. It would, indeed, be a clearer picture than relying on casually offered VAERS reports. Are more vaccinated individuals suffering heart problems than unvaccinated individuals, for example? Are more vaccinated women developing ovarian cancer? Are more vaccinated people dying overall than would be expected? These seem significant data points to determine, and not difficult to do if simple questions were asked of patients with serious conditions.

Health officials make repeated claims of vaccine safety, but they have yet to back up those claims with their own collected data. Data collected in Los Angeles county by the very same people who are administering - and in some cases compelling - vaccines.

The county counts deaths as from Covid if a non-accident/trauma death occurs within 30 days of a positive Covid test. That means an individual who also has advanced cancer, severe heart disease and so on who happens to test positive for Covid before expiring from the underlying condition is counted as a Covid death. No "teasing out" of these other conditions. The idea is to use a static yardstick to be able to measure trends.

Imagine how many vaccine deaths there would be if measured via the same standard. Unfortunately, vaccine safety is not being measured locally via any standard.

 
 

Reader Comments(1)

microcosme11 writes:

This VAERS thing seems useless.

 
 
 

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