Despathy: Doctors uninformed about vaccine reactions

Bill requires State report on adverse reactions

by Alison Despathy

H.189 would require the Vermont Department of Health to provide the General Assembly with an annual report of adverse reactions to immunizations. The role of data in guiding public health policy is well established and this bill will serve the people of Vermont.

I worked with my first vaccine-injured client in 2002. ‘Sarah’ was a 32 year old woman who suffered with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) from a flu vaccine received 8 months prior. GBS is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the nerve tissue and victims suffer a wide array of neurological symptoms including: muscle weakness, degrees of paralysis and possible death due to breathing complications.

Alison Despathy

Sarah’s medical doctors acknowledged that her GBS was due to her recent flu vaccine. Typically GBS will emerge 2-42 days after a flu shot, for Sarah it was 12 days and began with severe muscle weakness which progressed to partial paralysis. The swine flu vaccine of 1976 brought vaccine- induced GBS to the forefront. Reporting for 60 Minutes, Mike Wallace provided an investigative report on this disaster.

Sarah sought my help because she had tried all of the medical approaches and was not improving. The first step we took was to work with her medical doctor to file a vaccine injury report with the Health and Human Services’ Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

The Health and Human Services website states,

“Established in 1990, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national early warning system to detect possible safety problems in U.S.-licensed vaccines. VAERS is co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). VAERS accepts and analyzes reports for adverse events (possible side effects) after a person has received a vaccination. Anyone can report an adverse event to VAERS. Healthcare professionals are required to report certain adverse events and vaccine manufacturers are required to report all adverse events that come to their attention.”

Sarah’s doctor was not aware of this reporting system. This is not uncommon. In 2011, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care issued the Lazarus Report. Based on data gathered from Epic- the largest electronic medical records system at the time- this study identified the degree of underreporting in a passive surveillance system such as VAERS.

The Lazarus Report concluded that,

“Adverse Events from Drugs and Vaccines are common, but underreported. Although 25% of ambulatory patients experience an adverse drug event, less than .3% of all adverse drug events and 1-13% of serious events are reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Likewise, fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported. Low reporting rates preclude or slow the identification of “problem” drugs and vaccines that endanger public health…”

I have had a clinical nutrition practice in St. Johnsbury for over two decades and I have worked with 68 people struggling with vaccine injury.  The majority of their primary care providers were not familiar with the Health and Human Services’ Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. In addition to the lack of awareness regarding VAERS, entering reports can take 45 minutes, a barrier for many busy healthcare providers which also results in significant underreporting.

Throughout the past two decades, I have worked closely with many healthcare providers at Northern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH). With the ‘operation warp speed’ COVID injection roll out, my work with vaccine injuries and knowledge about the 1976 swine flu debacle, I reached out to colleagues at NVRH and asked about the protocol for monitoring and reporting possible vaccine adverse events. None of the people I contacted were aware of the Health and Human Services’ Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

Upon hearing this, I called Laurel Ruggles, the Vice President of Marketing and Community Health at NVRH. Laurel recognized the significance of this situation. She immediately added a note about VAERS reporting to the weekly hospital update to educate and remind staff and healthcare providers. Without training, time, or data, it is impossible to know how this influenced vaccine adverse event reporting.

H.189 and its required annual report of VAERS data will help accomplish two primary objectives-

  1. It will allow Vermont to establish a record and identify possible statewide concerns regarding vaccine adverse events, specific vaccine batches, and noteworthy patterns.
  2. It will educate healthcare professionals and the public about the role that a surveillance system such as VAERS provides in order to gather data, inform public health policy and ultimately keep Vermonters safe.

H.189 is in the House Health Care Committee. If you agree that this bill will serve the people of Vermont – please reach out to your local representative and the Health Care Committee in support of this bill – clearly it is in the best interest of all Vermonters that H.189 and its resulting annual report is filed.

The author is a clinical nutritionist in St. Johnsbury.

Categories: Commentary

11 replies »

  1. I just submitted a report via VAERS because of this article. After my second Pfizer COVID vax on 5/31/2021, I was hit hard with Guillan Barre Syndrome and was at UVMMC for 17 days from 7/26/2021 to 8/13/2021 for tests, treatment and physical therapy.

    It all started a week after I had my one and only immunotherapy infusion for cancer, which was diagnosed on 6/21/2021. My doctors couldn’t blame the vax because no one really knew what adverse effects would come about. So the immunotherapy was labeled the cause and I had to stop the best available treatment for my cancer, leave it untreated for 3 months, then start a different treatment. I may never know what exactly was the cause of the GBS, but in my gut I know.

    • Thank you for another timely, informative article, Alison. And thank you, Brent W., for telling us about your post-covid-vaccine experience. I and a friend have a project, the Vermont Covid Vaccine Adverse Event Story Project. We are collecting stories to share with elected leaders, institutional leaders and our communities so that everyone can have a better understanding of this issue, be more compassionate and create ways to support our friends, family and neighbors who have had an adverse reaction to one of the covid vaccines. It is one thing to look at numbers on the VAERS website, it is another to hear someone’s story, the details of what happened in their body and in their life. Because there is such a climate of silence around the reality of covid vaccine adverse reactions, many are afraid to come forward and admit that they have had one. Our Story Project is a way to tell your story and remain anonymous (except to me and my friend) if you want but you can have your name associated with it, too, if you prefer. If you or someone you know has had an adverse reaction to a covid vaccine and would like to share your story with the Project, please contact us at

  2. Public health agencies have stated that they will never conduct an analysis of the health outcomes of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children, even though that data is available in the Vaccine Safety Datalink…. which, tellingly, is no longer publicly available for analysis by researchers.

    Several small independent studies have shown a significantly higher incidence of chronic illness, (neurodevelopmental diseases such as ADD, ADHD and autism; allergies; GBS; asthma; eczema; etc.) in vaccinated children, but this signal has been studiously, and shamefully, ignored by the CDC, FDA, and state health agencies… all in the name of keeping so called “vaccine hesitancy” in check.

    This sort of willful blindness and cherry picking of data to support the “safe and effective” vaccine narrative has been exposed in bold relief during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is now the 4th legislative session in which this VAERS bill (H.189) has been introduced, and it appears that the VT legislature may continue to ignore this simple reporting bill that would cost taxpayers virtually nothing.

    Vermont citizens, and parents in particular, deserve .better.
    Thank you Alison for this excellent article.

  3. People here don’t care about real science or real data. Most of these folks around here believe in Dr. Frank’s bogus voter scam data and his misleading presentation. It’s like they’re living in a fairytale. So why bother with facts? They don’t want to hear it anyway. Let’s just stick to what we know they want to hear and leave the rest of that intellectual garbage behind.

  4. Over three years of this fraud has caused unjust pain and suffering for millions across the world. The criminals responsible for the deaths and disabilities are in hyperdrive to cover their criminal deeds. Their lies are exposed! It is time to arrest and prosecute crimes against humanity across the globe. It is time to stop complying with their lies. It is time to take back every nickel stolen. It is time every person involved is held to account, including losing their licenses, their jobs, and forfeit all ill-gotten gains. Ignorance is not a defense. Any person in the media, medical field, or government who willfully partook in these crimes are coconspirators and complicit. Declare it and decree it.

  5. Phil Scott who claims to be the Governor for the People of VT has been at the forefront of keeping statewide VAERS data out of the public eye. He claimed during one of his weekly Covid eyes-wide-shut news conferences, ‘If there were any Covid vaccine adverse events reported here in VT, the Dept of Health would have told me.’ Standing a ‘safe’ distance away with his ineffective mask covering his nose and mouth during these weekly circus shows was none other than Mark Levine, the VT Dept of Health Comish. The one person who could have supported the VT VAERS data but as we all know, he chose to keep quiet. Both of these individuals continue to push the ‘Safe and Effective’, ‘wear your mask’ narratives at the same time boasting the high rate of succesful vaccinations and lowest rates of illness, hospitalizations and deaths from Covid 19. They both used coersion tactics and Quid Pro Quo to convince Vermonters to get the jab. “Once the state hits 70 vaccination rate I will lift the mask mandate in public places”. Scott imposed illegal mask mandates so by lifting an illegal act he is just patting himself on the shoulder.
    Both of these individuals have been lying through their teeth to drive a narrative that has injured and killed thousands of Vermonters. They should both be indicted for conspiracy and crimes against Vermonters. Where can I sign a petition to bring these two monsters to justice?

  6. Turns out it was worth losing a bunch of friends over it. Not only do I have peace of mind, but I also now have better friends.

  7. There is a lot that’s not being reported, comparisons of mortality rates for the vaccinated and unvaccinated, the latter being higher in many places in the later stages of the pandemic. Autopsies documenting vaccine harms in rising numbers of unexpected deaths, where this is done 1 out of six and damaging vaccine induced spiked protein been found in every organ of the body. The decision making process that overturned decades long pandemic response protocol leading to compulsory masking, vaccine mandates and restrictions on economic activity, none of which stopped the spread of Covid. Why the Department of health only began their inspections of nursing homes and rehab centers after Covid had already started to spread in them. how many Covid deaths in private nursing and retirement homes compared to those which depended on public funding. what does the data say about the effectiveness of intubation, sedation and forced breathing as a treatment for Covid. Why did the state fail to organize distribution of cheap and effective , over the counter early treatments to the public, which proved a highly effective response in third world countries. Did the State take any direct steps to influence media coverage and repress criticisms of their Covid response, like the national government did. Did officials in the Department of health make any attempt to evaluate the research that the pharma companies presented to the FDA to gain approval for their vaccine? Did their instructions to the health workers administering vaccines include aspiration to prevent injection directly into the vein and slow release to prevent the formation of a Bolus in patients arm, a precaution that prevents shredding of the endothelium, damage to the heart, and potentially every organ in the body at the current estimate of 1 out of every 300 patients. How was it that Vermont pediatricians vaccinated hundreds of children when it was known from the very earliest days that normal, healthy children were in no danger of dying from covid. What steps are officials in state government and the legislators taking to review, reflect and correct the misinformation, bad science and resistance to criticism which characterized their response to Covid, is their any mechanism established to enforce accountability. Does anybody have at least an inclination to apologize or perhaps resign.

  8. i submitted a report 20 years ago when my daughter had her mmr (measles mumps rubella). that shot was and still is truly awful! she was in a practical coma for 5 days and when she was finally “came to” she could not speak correctly for four years. she has healed but there may still be residual damage. no shots for me and my family ever again. the safety tests are no more than 5 days on some of the shots AND the combo shots and the schedule have NEVER had a safety trials!!!!!!!!!! do not give your self or your babies any if this crap until you read the data! you will be appalled. then look deeper and you’ll see that its all about money not your health.

  9. I have reported to V Safe numerous side affects as I had signed up with them. I have yet to hear back from them. Now, I have stage 3a chronic kidney disease as a result of either the vaccine or covid itself. I can say in 2021 all my labs ( and every year prior) were absolutely normal. One does not go from zero to 3 in one fell swoop. I just want to know what the heck was in those vaccines!!! Since the cdc dumped many emails on their sites, we may never know.