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"Anyone can report to VAERS"

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have to rant. I'm getting sick of hearing this canard. Here's what wrong with it.

1. Anybody *can* report to VAERS, but not just anybody does. The sweeping majority of reaction reports come from providers and drug manufacturers.

https://vaers.hhs.gov/about/faqs

2. The implication of this argument is appallingly condescending and even accusatory. Imagine getting the HPV vaccine for your daughter and witnessing her faint afterward. If a doctor reports it, it's legit. If you report it, clearly you're making this shit up. eyesroll.gif

3. VAERS *needs* to be a system to which anybody can report. Think of it this way. If you're a mandated reporter for child abuse, you are legally required to report any SUSPICIONS. It is not your job to determine causality or investigate if it actually happened. That is for the authorities to do.

But with vaccine reactions, we don't have that kind of mechanism in place. Providers, not independent investigators, declare themselves the authority. They are at liberty to say--without ANY scientific investigation-- "I'm not reporting that. It was just a coincidence." Until mandated reporting applies to vaccine reactions, even seemingly coincidental ones, the democritization of VAERS is essential.

On a similar note, I'm really tired of the line, "Just because the government awarded compensation, it doesn't mean the vaccine caused a reaction."

Right. Because the person saying this obviously has some special, secret insider knowledge of each and every compensation case that not even the Vaccine Court's Special Masters have. And because despite the VICP's evidence-based list of vaccine reactions warranting compensation, and their embedded and competing interest in defending a government vaccine program, they, too, are making shit up. eyesroll.gif It's all a government conspiracy, I tell you. winky.gif

Rant over. soapbox.gif
post #2 of 31

4.  There are assumptions made left and right that adverse reactions reported to VAERS are just a coincidence.

 

For example, we hear over and over how the people who died in car crashes couldn't possibly have had adverse reactions to their vaccines, and why the heck were their deaths reported to VAERS just because it was the same day as their vacicne, blah blah blah.

 

What they don't mention, either because they didn't know, or because they don't want to know:  Several cases have have occurred where a teenage girl got a vaccine (often HPV, but not always), and then either had a seizure or passed out while driving.  The result: she died of injuries sustained from the car crash--but that death would not have happened without the vaccine and its reaction.

post #3 of 31

The VAERS front page is very revelatory: It is a PASSIVE reporting system and the front page says that ALL passive reporting systems suffer from UNDERreporting!

 

The infamous Incredible Hulk incident that some point to as proof that anyone can report anything, actually proves that the database is super tightly monitored and anything unusual will be followed up on really quickly.

 

If you dismiss VAERS, IMO you hate science, because VAERS *is* science. There is nothing more sciencey than collecting reports of reactions to a drug or medication.

post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post

 

What they don't mention, either because they didn't know, or because they don't want to know:  Several cases have have occurred where a teenage girl got a vaccine (often HPV, but not always), and then either had a seizure or passed out while driving.  The result: she died of injuries sustained from the car crash--but that death would not have happened without the vaccine and its reaction.

 

Several cases?  Could you link to these reports?  Last time this came up, I was unable find even one specific example of a person passing out while driving after getting a vaccine.  

post #5 of 31

Here is one:

 

"... Among the 23 patients for whom times of vaccination and syncope onset were indicated, 12 (52.2%) occurred within 5 minutes of vaccination, and 16 (69.6%) occurred within 15 minutes. Ten of the 26 serious reports indicated that secondary injuries occurred after syncope, including head injuries (n = 9) after syncope-related falls and a motor-vehicle incident (n = 1) because the patient lost consciousness while driving. Seven (70.0%) of the 10 secondary injuries occurred within 15 minutes of vaccination."

 

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5717a2.htm

post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

I have to rant. I'm getting sick of hearing this canard. Here's what wrong with it.

1. Anybody *can* report to VAERS, but not just anybody does. The sweeping majority of reaction reports come from providers and drug manufacturers.

https://vaers.hhs.gov/about/faqs

2. The implication of this argument is appallingly condescending and even accusatory. Imagine getting the HPV vaccine for your daughter and witnessing her faint afterward. If a doctor reports it, it's legit. If you report it, clearly you're making this shit up. eyesroll.gif


 

 

 

2 is not the implication of 1.  Just because reports are more likely to come from doctors or manufacturers does not necessarily mean that they are taken less seriously when they do come from parents.  In fact, while parents don't typically report to vaers, wouldn't most report originate with parents?  Just instead of going to vaers, they go to their doctor, who then in turn report it to vaers or reports it to the manufacturer who reports it to vaers.  Isn't it a good thing that manufacturers are submitting reports? 

 

I do agree that vaers is somewhat lacking.  But I imagine things will get better - my province has switched to centralized record keeping meaning in the future researchers will have a much easier time finding out if people visited a doctor with such and such a complaint after getting a vaccine.  Kaiser's huge database in the states should allow similar things and I imagine that sometime in the future there will be automatic queries running looking for relationships between things that never would have been noticed by humans. . 

 

For now, remember that vaers is a passive system there to alert us to unexpected problems cropping up, but it is not all we have to go on.  Vaccine are also put through rigorous controlled tests during the licensing process. 

 

Quote:
Right. Because the person saying this obviously has some special, secret insider knowledge of each and every compensation case that not even the Vaccine Court's Special Masters have. And because despite the VICP's evidence-based list of vaccine reactions warranting compensation, and their embedded and competing interest in defending a government vaccine program, they, too, are making shit up. eyesroll.gif It's all a government conspiracy, I tell you. winky.gif

 

You don't have to know anything about any specific case, just have an idea how difficult it can be to prove cause and effect and know that you don't actually have to prove it to get compensated, just make a decent case for it.  For instance, there are a number of compensations for guillain-barré syndrome after flu shots.  While guillain-barré syndrome is not very common, given the large number of people in the US, about 80 to 160 people get it every week, and for most cases we don't know why, though it is more common after certain infection.  There has been concern about it in relation to the flu vaccine, so people get compensated when it happens shortly after a flu vaccine... but does that mean that it was actually caused by the vaccine?  Or if they hadn't gotten the vaccine, would they still have gotten it anyway and just not had anything to blame it on?  With the large number of people who do get the flu vaccine, you can expect a certain number of case of GBS to follow it just by coincidence, cases that would have happened anyway had the person been injected with saline instead of a vaccine or not been injected with anything at all because GBS happens from time to time and there is no reason to think getting a flu vaccine should stop that.   Research currently shows that the rate of people who get GBS is not changed by whether or not the person had recently had a flu shot, indicating that most are all of the people who are compensated for it after a flu shot likely would have had it anyway, and yet they still were compensated.  

post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pers View Post

 

 

 With the large number of people who do get the flu vaccine, you can expect a certain number of case of GBS to follow it just by coincidence, cases that would have happened anyway had the person been injected with saline instead of a vaccine or not been injected with anything at all because GBS happens from time to time and there is no reason to think getting a flu vaccine should stop that.   Research currently shows that the rate of people who get GBS is not changed by whether or not the person had recently had a flu shot, indicating that most are all of the people who are compensated for it after a flu shot likely would have had it anyway, and yet they still were compensated.  

I couldn't find the research you mention.

 

I did, however, find some sites that mention research suggesting that GBS following a vaccine is not a coincidence, and in fact follows some noticeable patterns:

 

http://www.mctlawyers.com/vaccine-injury/guillain-barre

"Researchers who studied vaccine reaction rates found that “GBS is more strongly associated with vaccination for influenza” than for any other vaccine. The Journal of the American Medical Association cites Guillain Barré as the most frequent neurological condition reported after getting the flu shot. But the flu shot isn’t the only vaccine that may lead to GBS."

 

"The Centers for Disease Control reports that “Guillaine-Barré has been reported after vaccination with Gardasil®.”  Other studies show that 72% of patients who reported GBS symptoms after a Gardsil vaccine experienced those symptoms within 6 weeks after their shot."

post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post

I couldn't find the research you mention.

 

I did, however, find some sites that mention research suggesting that GBS following a vaccine is not a coincidence, and in fact follows some noticeable patterns:

 

http://www.mctlawyers.com/vaccine-injury/guillain-barre

"Researchers who studied vaccine reaction rates found that “GBS is more strongly associated with vaccination for influenza” than for any other vaccine. The Journal of the American Medical Association cites Guillain Barré as the most frequent neurological condition reported after getting the flu shot. But the flu shot isn’t the only vaccine that may lead to GBS."

 

"The Centers for Disease Control reports that “Guillaine-Barré has been reported after vaccination with Gardasil®.”  Other studies show that 72% of patients who reported GBS symptoms after a Gardsil vaccine experienced those symptoms within 6 weeks after their shot."

 

That's a personal injury lawyer.  Not exactly a reliable source of of information.  Of course Guillaine-Barre ha been reported after Gardasil.  With all the doses of Gardasil that have been given, if no one had GBS after it, that would be a reason to investigate how the vaccine was somehow stopping the GBS cases you would normally expect to happen from other causes in such a large population from happening.  As for 72% within six weeks, who is more likely to suspect that perhaps the vaccine caused their condition and file a report, the person who develops GBS five weeks later or the person who develops it five months later?  The real question is whether or not GBS is more common five weeks after the vaccine than it is five month after, and whether it is more common following a vaccine than in people who have not recently had a vaccine. 

 

The CDC say that the only vaccine GBS has been conclusively linked to is a very small increase in risk for it following the 1976 swine flu vaccine.  It does not say that it is not possible that any other vaccine has caused GBS  ever - since GBS believed to be caused by an immune response to various infections (incuding the flu itself), it is reasonable to expect that the immune response to a vaccine could cause it as well.  Most research though has not found evidence of a link between GBS and any other vaccine (here is just one example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23580737 ), A small amount has found a very low increased link on an order of one per million or less, and the issue is still under investigation. Even if there is an increased risk of GBS following the flu vaccine though, it is certainly very rare, and statistically you would still expect cases of GBS to occur following the flu vaccine that were actually caused by other things since the flu vaccine would not stop those cases (apart from possibly the very rare case caused by flu), and there would be no way to tell with any particular GBS case following the flu vaccine if it was actually caused by the vaccine or just coincidental to it.  

post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pers View Post

That's a personal injury lawyer.  Not exactly a reliable source of of information.  

http://skepdic.com/adhominem.html
"One of the most frequent types of ad hominem attack is to attack the arguer's alleged motives rather than his evidence."

And that's exactly what you just did.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pers View Post

 As for 72% within six weeks, who is more likely to suspect that perhaps the vaccine caused their condition and file a report, the person who develops GBS five weeks later or the person who develops it five months later?  The real question is whether or not GBS is more common five weeks after the vaccine than it is five month after, and whether it is more common following a vaccine than in people who have not recently had a vaccine. 

That's exactly what that 72% figure shows.

If there is more than one cause of GBS--say, vaccination is one cause, but an unrecognized virus might be another, more common cause--just because one cause is more common than another doesn't mean that the less common cause never happened. In other words, it doesn't matter if it's less common in people who have had a vaccine than in people who have not had a vaccine. The 2 groups simply would have had different causes, with vaccines being the less common cause, but a cause, nonetheless.

The real question is why there is a sudden uptick in cases of GBS in previously healthy (and in most cases, athletic) young women who had recently received an HPV shot? And why is there a sudden uptick in cases of other paralytic and severe neurological problems in healthy young women who had recently received an HPV shot?
post #10 of 31

Just a reminder that 'Innocent until PROVEN guilty' is only rightly extended to HUMAN BEINGS, not chemicals, not industries, and not pharmaceutical formulations.

 

I know some of us might have gotten confused since we made Corporations people . . .

post #11 of 31

My mom had GBS, or has it's in remission.  Struck her in 88.  It was due to trauma from an accident.  GBS has been around for a long time and at them time she had it she was still an unvaccinated adult and GBS was considered an orphan disease. 

 

 

Wanted to add that in the 70's there was an outbreak of GBS due to the Flu vaccine.  However that is not the only way one could suffer from GBS.


Edited by Imakcerka - 7/11/13 at 10:31am
post #12 of 31
^She got into an accident, reported to a hospital, as a totally unvaccinated adult & did NOT receive a Tetanus shot? I would check those medical records because that would be considered malpractice in Emergency Medicine circles.
post #13 of 31

She got into an accident which caused trauma to her body.  She had a neck injury.  She went back in a few days later because her hands burned and then her feet burned and eventually she was admitted after a month of pain and fear over what was happening and she stayed there for 6 months.  We thought she was going to die.  Also it's not hard to believe a migrant worker was unvaccinated nor is it hard to believe she had a hard time getting decent care.  And GBS was an orphan disease at the time.  Now she's a nurse here in the states and DOES NOT have to get the Flu vaccine but does have to wear the mask. 

post #14 of 31
It is actually pretty surprising that a migrant worker would be unvaccinated, if she was from Mexico: Mexico has a higher Vax rate than the US . . .

Typically Tetanus is a regular part of ER care . . .
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

She got into an accident which caused trauma to her body.  She had a neck injury.  She went back in a few days later because her hands burned and then her feet burned and eventually she was admitted after a month of pain and fear over what was happening and she stayed there for 6 months.  We thought she was going to die.  Also it's not hard to believe a migrant worker was unvaccinated nor is it hard to believe she had a hard time getting decent care.  And GBS was an orphan disease at the time.  Now she's a nurse here in the states and DOES NOT have to get the Flu vaccine but does have to wear the mask. 

Possibly OT, but what is an orphan disease?

 

Thanks,

Sus

post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
Pers, I'm not sure where you get the idea that my first and second points are in any way connected. They are separately mentioned flaws of an all-too-common argument. I continually hear from pro-vax-schedule people that VAERS lacks credibility because "anyone" can report to it.

With 87%+ of the reports are coming from health care, public health, and pharmaceutical professionals . . . yes, I do think it's a good thing. It means they're ethical, vigilant, and doing their job. Would that more relevant professionals reported to VAERS! It lends more credibility to VAERS than the anyone-can-report critics would have us believe.

My second point questions the "anyone" aspect. Who is this "anyone" that we're not supposed to believe? The mother who watched her daughter faint after a Gardasil dose? The father who was awake in the wee hours because his toddler reacted to that fourth DTaP dose with a febrile seizure?

Dinahx mentioned an online troll who submitted a VAERS report as the Incredible Hulk to prove...to prove what, exactly? That non-physician reporters were as credible as the *In*credible Hulk? eyesroll.gif That there's a vast conspiracy of non-vaxxers and anti-vaxxers trying to foil the system by crashing it with outrageous false reports? eyesroll.gifeyesroll.gifeyesroll.gifwinky.gif Who knows? The point is that the anyone-can-report people take the patronizing and accusatory assumption that health care consumers are lying when they file a VAERS report. Rather than generalize from a distance, perhaps these nay-sayers could point us to specific reports that they believe are lies?
post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 
As for VICP, really the only people with an authority to determine the veracity of the case are the Special Masters and plaintiffs' attorneys who were on the front lines, not anonymous online vaccine risk denialists. I know that given the VICP's chilling lack of a peer jury, super short statute of limitations (3 years), evidence-based but continually shrinking list of reactions worthy of compensation, and appalling lack of judicial independence (no outside judges, just "Special Masters" representing government agency interests) . . . VICP is as vulnerable to "under-reporting" as VAERS. By the way, I'll have to dig up the detailed essay I read on the claims process, but VICP does place the burden on plaintiffs and their attorneys to prove causation.
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pers View Post

 

That's a personal injury lawyer.  Not exactly a reliable source of of information.  Of course Guillaine-Barre ha been reported after Gardasil.  With all the doses of Gardasil that have been given, if no one had GBS after it, that would be a reason to investigate how the vaccine was somehow stopping the GBS cases you would normally expect to happen from other causes in such a large population from happening.  As for 72% within six weeks, who is more likely to suspect that perhaps the vaccine caused their condition and file a report, the person who develops GBS five weeks later or the person who develops it five months later?  The real question is whether or not GBS is more common five weeks after the vaccine than it is five month after, and whether it is more common following a vaccine than in people who have not recently had a vaccine. 

 

The CDC say that the only vaccine GBS has been conclusively linked to is a very small increase in risk for it following the 1976 swine flu vaccine.  It does not say that it is not possible that any other vaccine has caused GBS  ever - since GBS believed to be caused by an immune response to various infections (incuding the flu itself), it is reasonable to expect that the immune response to a vaccine could cause it as well.  Most research though has not found evidence of a link between GBS and any other vaccine (here is just one example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23580737 ), A small amount has found a very low increased link on an order of one per million or less, and the issue is still under investigation. Even if there is an increased risk of GBS following the flu vaccine though, it is certainly very rare, and statistically you would still expect cases of GBS to occur following the flu vaccine that were actually caused by other things since the flu vaccine would not stop those cases (apart from possibly the very rare case caused by flu), and there would be no way to tell with any particular GBS case following the flu vaccine if it was actually caused by the vaccine or just coincidental to it.  

You make it sound like getting compensation is a snap.....when that is the FURTHEST thing from the truth. 

post #19 of 31

^My friend has a daughter who is severely & permanently disabled. Every doctor on the case confirmed that it was a vaccine reaction. That is the kind of unanimity that is necessary to even proceed. She did get compensated, after TEN years of legal wrangling. She actually felt like they were waiting on her daughter to die, because they only pay for ongoing care . . . In any case, she got only a modest amount and that amount was reduced because she did refuse to sign a gag order. If you want, I can put you in touch. I know many more folks who have children with listed reactions, I just only know one who had a daughter who needed enough care that her parents were willing to duke it out with the government for 10 years over it. I can put anyone on here in touch, she didn't sign the gag order so that she could let others know about her experience.

 

It is so far from 'a snap' it is laughable, and that is why I can't take anyone's arguments seriously when they assert that it IS a snap.

post #20 of 31
Gbs temporaly close to a flu vaccine is an example however of a compensation case you would win, but may or may not actually be related to vaccines.

Everyone admits rare bad reactions occur, and that compensation courts can't be any fun for those who truely deserve help.
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