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|The MedAlerts Blog|
This month I will investigate flaws in the VAERS data. It should come as no surprise that there are mistakes in VAERS data: this sort of thing happens all the time. The culprit is people, and people make mistakes. Let's look at two problems:
Problem 1: Hospitalization. There are two outcomes in each VAERS report related to hospitalization: Hospitalized and Extended Stay in Hospital. Could it be that a VAERS report indicates an extended hospital stay but does not indicate hospitalization? Clearly, that would be a mistake. To find out, go to Section 4 of the search form and set Hospitalized? to "No" and Extended stay? to "Yes". The result shows 627 VAERS reports with this mistake!
The ramifications of this mistake are actually significant, because the government often makes a distinction between those VAERS reports that are "serious" and those that are not. Non-serious VAERS reports are typically discarded as unimportant. The definition of "serious" includes hospitalization, life-threatening, disabled, or death, but it does not consider the extended-stay outcome. In fact, of those 627 reports with the hospitalization mistake, 505 of them are non-serious and would, if the mistake were fixed, become serious situations.
Problem 2: Gardasil underreporting. Each VAERS report lists the vaccinations that were given and also has a write-up that describes the problem. Is it possible that Gardasil is mentioned in the write-up but is not in the list of vaccinations that were given? To find out, check Expert Mode (needed to search for vaccines that were not given). Then in Section 2, set the Write-up field to "gardasil". Finally, in Section 3, choose the "HPV" and "HPV4" vaccines and check Excluded. HPV4 is Gardasil and HPV is a generic vaccine that could be Gardasil or Cervarix. By excluding both of these possibilities, we are finding VAERS reports that specifically do not list Gardasil.
How many reports match this search? 116! But let me immediately point out that this search does not necessarily indicate a mistake in the VAERS data. A careful reading of the write-ups in these reports reveals that many of them mention Gardasil without claiming that it was given to the patient. Some of the write-ups say that "Gardasil was not given" or that the patient intended to get Gardasil but was given a different vaccine instead. Some describe newborn infants who were exposed to Gardasil during their mother's pregnancies. Of the 116 reports uncovered by this search, 43 of them follow one of these patterns and indicate that Gardasil was not given.
And what about the 73 reports that claim Gardasil was given? Why wasn't it listed in the report? Some are clearly human error (either the VAERS submission form was filled-out incorrectly or a typo was made). Some appear to combine multiple medical situations into a single report and lose information in the process. Some list an "unknown" vaccine having been given, but it is clear from the writeup what that vaccine actually was.
Remember that I am not a health professional, so it is possible that some of these 73 VAERS reports are simply not Gardasil-related. In any case, here are the 73 reports that I think are mistakes. The numbers listed here are the VAERS ID numbers. Click on them to see the full report.
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