VAERS: What is going on?

Something is up with the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). The data is usually updated after every Friday but I have been checking most days since January 22nd, 2021 and there has been no update since January 15th.

But before we get into the details about VAERS, let’s remember the risk of death from COVID-19. According to CDC’s best estimate (scroll down to first table), the survival rates by age group are as follows: birth to 19: 99.997%; age 20-49: 99.98%; age 50-69: 99.5%; age 70 and over: 95%.

The system was down Tuesday and Wednesday January 26th and 27th and a message posted on the website stated the following: “Apology: System Temporarily Down, VAERS component is temporarily down for maintenance. Please bear with us for the next few hours.” The system was finally brought back online late Wednesday but the data was still not updated.

Calls to VAERS were met with a message saying that calls could not be answered due to a high number of inquiries.

It is interesting to note the progression of reports of deaths linked to experimental COVID-19 vaccines to VAERS.

For the week ending January 8, 2021 there were 66 deaths reported and by the following week ending January 15, 2021 there had been 181 deaths reported, Through January 15th there were nearly 8,000 reports of injury overall from experimental COVID-19 vaccines. The number of deaths almost tripled from one week to the next so one wonders what the number will be for the next week ending Jan 22nd and whether another spike in deaths and other injuries has occurred, not to mention how many deaths will be reported after the second, more reactive dose is given?

It is worth remembering that most people have no idea VAERS exists so don’t know to make reports and research shows fewer than 1% of injuries are ever reported.

When I phoned VAERS on Thursday morning January 28th I heard a recorded message saying that due to the high volume of calls they would call me back so I left my name and number at the beep.

We won’t know the official stance regarding the situation until VAERS releases some kind of a statement but in the 20 years I’ve been researching vaccines I’ve never known the system to be down.

It is particularly concerning given the experience in nursing homes and among the elderly all over the world. A New York nursing home had experienced no deaths from COVID-19 until it began vaccinating residents with the experimental COVID-19 vaccine after which 24 died and over 130 tested positive. In Norway  dozens of elderly and frail died shortly after the experimental vaccine and Norway has warned against vaccinating the frail.

The situation in Gibraltar is even more alarming. In the first 10 days of administering the experimental Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine (about 5850 doses), 53 people died – almost 1% of doses. Reportedly only 16 people had died in Gibraltar “from COVID” before vaccination began. Given the tone and wording of the media reports, it seems that media is blaming an increase in deaths not on the vaccine but on COVID. The same is true in reports in other regions.

Let’s not forget that before the experimental COVID-19 vaccines were introduced, CDC and other national health agencies instructed doctors and coroners to label all deaths as COVID-19 whether they were confirmed or merely suspected of being caused by COVID-19 so it’s a little ironic that now that the experimental vaccine has been rolled out, deaths and any increase in cases after the vaccine are being attributed to COVID-19, not the vaccine. That’s very convenient to say the least.

It will be interesting to see what explanation VAERS provides for the interruption of service and delayed updating of data. Stay tuned.

UPDATE Jan 29, 2021: This morning, VAERS updated the data on the website through January 22nd but not through January 29th as would have been normal. There are now 9,845 reports to VAERS with 329 reports of death through Jan. 22nd. This is roughly an 80% increase in reports of deaths over January 15th and roughly 28% in total reports over the same period.

When I called VAERS, a representative for VAERS said she did not know why there was such a delay in reporting data through January 22nd nor why the data for January 29th is still not on the website. She told me the CDC told VAERS the website was down for maintenance. She simply said they had experienced a large volume of calls but could not say whether that was abnormal. She suggested I call CDC for more information.

I called CDC to ask them the same questions and was told to submit them in writing to an email address.

On February 1, 2021, I emailed CDC’s media relations group the following:

  • 1) How long was the CDC Wonder system to search VAERS down last week?
  • 2) Why was the system down?
  • 3) Why was the data not updated as normal on January 22nd?
  • 4) Why has the data through January 29th still not been posted to the website?
  • 5) Has there been an increase in the number of reports VAERS receives?
  • 6) Callers to VAERS and CDC are told there is a high number of callers, is this a change from normal?
  • 7) What days of the week is website maintenance normally scheduled to occur?

I have not yet received a response.

Update February 5, 2021, 5:35 PM EST: The VAERS/CDC Wonder website is up but the last data update was for January 22nd. As a reminder, VAERS is normally updated in Fridays so the data should have been updated through today, February 5th.

Second update on February 5th: very late in the day the VAERS data was updated to reflect data through January 29th. The new numbers show 11,249 events reports, including 501 deaths.

I also emailed CDC to follow up on my email from February 1st and have not heard back.

N.b. We are using search engine to access the VAERS data as it is an easier tool to use while still accessing the same core data.