Don't Fall for the 'VAERS Scare' Tactic - 2021-07-18

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F0.png Don't Fall for the 'VAERS Scare' Tactic July 18, 2021, Jonathan Jarry, Office for Science and Society, McGill University

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System or VAERS is being misused by anti-vaxxers to terrify the public. It's a shame because VAERS plays a vital role in detecting important but rare reactions caused by vaccines. The weaponization of VAERS by anti-vaccine activists serves as a reminder that having access to more information does not always lead to better decisions. Information needs to be correctly interpreted to guide us in the right direction.

Nearly sued out of existence

VAERS is a reporting system based in the United States and it arose, like so many other regulatory measures surrounding vaccines, as a response to a major problem. It may be hard to imagine now but there was a time in American history when vaccines and other biological products used for medical reasons were not regulated. However, when 13 children died from receiving a diphtheria antitoxin that was contaminated with tetanus, legal steps were taken to provide oversight, with the adoption by Congress in 1902 of the virus-toxin act. Subsequent tragedies over the decades led to a number of improvements, among them stricter requirements on safety and efficacy when applying for a vaccine license and the authority given to the federal government to inspect facilities where vaccines were being manufactured.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Jonathan | last = Jarry | title = Don't Fall for the 'VAERS Scare' Tactic | url = https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/covid-19-critical-thinking-health/dont-fall-vaers-scare-tactic | work = Office for Science and Society | publisher = McGill University | date = July 18, 2021 | accessdate = October 11, 2021 }}