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HoosAC

Joined: 06/07/2017 Posts: 3163
Likes: 2290


And I quote....


In fact, VAERS has played a major role in the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. The data is regularly appropriated by anti-vaccine advocates, who use the reports to claim falsely that COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous. They are aided by the fact that the entire VAERS database is public — it can be downloaded by anyone for any purpose.

"There's very little control over what can be accessed and what can be manipulated," says Melanie Smith, director of analysis at Graphika, a company that tracks vaccine misinformation online. She says that she sees VAERS data being shared across a wide variety of anti-vaccine social media channels. "I would say almost every mis- and disinformation story that we cover is accompanied by some set of VAERS data."

VAERS was established decades ago, partly in direct response to the anti-vaccine movement. In 1982, a TV documentary called DPT Vaccine Roulette aired nationwide. It was filled with unsubstantiated claims that the vaccine given at the time against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus could lead to intellectual and physical disability.

For Some Anti-Vaccine Advocates, Misinformation Is Part Of A Business
SHOTS - HEALTH NEWS
For Some Anti-Vaccine Advocates, Misinformation Is Part Of A Business
"It led to a massive number of lawsuits," says Dr. Walter Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center and a former director of the U.S. immunization program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The legal battles got so bad that many pharmaceutical companies decided it wasn't worth making the vaccines. The U.S. began experiencing shortages. Congress stepped in with a law protecting manufacturers, and part of that act created VAERS in 1990. Right away, the database looked different from other collections of government medical data: Anybody could report a side effect from a vaccine (not just doctors), and anyone could request the entire VAERS database for any reason. Orenstein says the goal was to make it as open as possible.

(In response to this post by HoosADaddy)

Posted: 07/08/2021 at 11:03PM



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