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At least some non-mainstream news sites have reported deaths and adverse events from the CDC’s VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) database. But outlets such as the Associated Press have stepped up to run interference. A “fact-checking” article by the wire service in the first week of February downplayed reporting on vaccine-related deaths, not by discounting the factual numbers but by crying “context”:
Claim: Screenshots of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System show people who have died after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
AP’s assessment: Missing context. The VAERS system is an unverified reporting system that does not determine if a vaccine caused the events that are reported.
VAERS, a self-reporting system, is widely considered to be inadequate in tracking the actual scope of events. The CDC is working to devise and implement a more reliable way of tracking information.
Its weakness is considered to be in under-reporting, not falsely or over-reporting events. Despite this fact, the AP story sought to muddy the truth by vaguely claiming, “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which run the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, are quick to note the limitation of the data, which serve as an early signal to detect issues with any vaccines.”
It’s telling that a search on any internet browser that simply asks for “VAERS adverse event total” brings up scores of articles discounting “anti-vax misinformation” by mainstream news sources that never relate the current numbers from the database.
Those numbers are admittedly very poorly and confusingly presented by the system itself. But here are some of the data through 4 February:

  • 653 deaths reported following COVID vaccinations
  • 12,697 reported total adverse events
  • 2,792 visits to emergency room doctors
  • 208 permanent disabilities
  • 1,382 hospitalizations

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