By Genna Barnaby
It is not uncommon for medical providers and every day, average Vermonters to have never heard of VAERS. After all, it’s just another government-run system that often doesn’t receive much attention, until recently. VAERS is the acronym for Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, and according to its website:
“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 of 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.”
When a report is made into the VAERS system, a 7-digit VAERS ID is generated. This number represents an individual, who has reported an adverse event following receipt of a vaccine, and in the recent pandemic, the receipt of the experimental COVID-19 injection. Adverse events are endless, but here are some reported examples:
- Error in administration of the product (minors, mixing brands, wrong amount)
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
- Receiving the incorrect vaccine
- Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS)
- Visual impairment
The Pfizer-Biontech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 injections were authorized in the U.S. for distribution beginning in December of 2020 under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and adverse events following receipt of them are being reported to VAERS. Pfizer’s COVID-19 COMIRNATY mRNA vaccine was FDA-approved in August 2021, but it is not known whether it’s being distributed in the U.S.
VAERS IDs are more than just numbers, they are our neighbors, friends, and children. They are our co-workers, our classmates, our teachers. They are our medical providers, our patients, our loved ones. Their lives are more than just a report. If you or someone you know has experienced an adverse reaction to a vaccine, you are not alone. We hope you know that you are more than just a slew of 7-digits-you are real to us, your injuries are real, and you are loved. If you would like to honor a loved one who has suffered from an injury following receipt of any vaccine, your community will join you. Health Choice VT held its first Candlelight Vigil on November 1st and will continue to recognize our loved ones behind the VAERS IDs.
Vermont Bill H323 would require the state of Vermont to provide an annual public report on vaccine adverse reactions experienced by Vermonters. Contact your legislators to voice your support for passage of H323. To learn more about VAERS and the data it has held regarding adverse events following vaccination, visit: https://vaers.hhs.gov/data.html