What happens when you report to VAERS? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 06-05-2012, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought this was interesting.  The concern has been brought up before that reports to vaers are just blown off or ignored.  I came across this today and thought I'd bring it up.  It's from 1999.

 

 

 

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Testimony/ucm115058.htm

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All reports are entered into a computer database. Selected reports of serious events and all reports of fatalities are followed up individually by a health professional. Autopsy reports and other relevant medical records are sought and retrieved for review. Medical staff carefully monitor individual reports and trends in adverse event reporting for vaccines, with particular attention to newly licensed vaccines
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#2 of 11 Old 06-05-2012, 05:47 PM
 
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I thought this was interesting.  The concern has been brought up before that reports to vaers are just blown off or ignored.  I came across this today and thought I'd bring it up.  It's from 1999.



http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Testimony/ucm115058.htm
yes, "SELECTED REPORTS" are followed up.

According to all the doctors I've talked to,only reports made by doctors are followed up.
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#3 of 11 Old 06-05-2012, 05:57 PM
 
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I do know someone who got a settlement for her child's injury. It was pretty severe though...
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#4 of 11 Old 06-05-2012, 06:33 PM
 
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When I reported a (not-severe) reaction to VAERS, I never got so much as an email that it was even received.  I have no idea what was done with the information, if anything.  I'm not saying it wasn't worth the few minutes it took to log the reaction.  I think many people feel that reports to VAERS are dismissed or ignored because so many say that since it is a passive reporting tool, it's pretty much worthless for statistics.


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#5 of 11 Old 06-05-2012, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's not worthless, it's just only good for so much. It's a good place to generate a hypothesis. It's not a good place to verify or disprove a hypothesis.
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#6 of 11 Old 06-05-2012, 06:44 PM
 
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It's not worthless, it's just only good for so much. It's a good place to generate a hypothesis. It's not a good place to verify or disprove a hypothesis.

 

This is your opinion, and others believe that it is worthless.


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#7 of 11 Old 06-05-2012, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well the FDA and CDC don't. They spend a lot of time and money examining data from vaers and following up serious incidents. The authors of the articles on pubmed using the data also don't think it's worthless.
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#8 of 11 Old 06-05-2012, 10:28 PM
 
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Maybe sometimes people don't really understand the purpose of VAERS?? I also think that often times a patient or parent might define "serious" reactions differently than CDC/FDA etc. define reaction severity. I also know parents have stated here before that they have felt blown off by their physicians when they report reactions to them.
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#9 of 11 Old 06-06-2012, 03:56 AM
 
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Is this one of those things that's not perfect, but it's what we've got, so you just have to work to make it work as well as possible? 

 

It must be frustrating to have what you believe is a vaccine reaction, and have a hard time convincing your Doctor. I have to say though, that that happens convinces me that the reactions are very rare - Doctors will have a lot of practice in recognizing common reactions/problems because they vaccinate so many children (still up at 95% of children across the US- you can find statistics for all countries on the WHO website). 

 

And surely Anti-Vaccination and/or Safe-Vaccination sites (e.g. NVIC) would be delighted to help you find a local Doctor who can help you report your serious reaction to VAERS if it happens that your Doctor won't believe you. It seems to me they would jump on such events..... Reputable Doctors linked to those sites I presume should be able to help report the event to VAERS in a way that allows the CDC etc. to want to check it out. 

 

Taximom - did you report your children's reactions to VAERS? I'm just curious what your experience with that was. 


Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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#10 of 11 Old 06-06-2012, 04:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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CDC/FDA define serious reaction as one that is life threatening or likely to result in lifelong harm or disability (or pretty close to that, I can't remember the exact wording).
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#11 of 11 Old 06-08-2012, 01:35 PM
 
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I found this article when I was Googling for something or other, and I thought it had some really neat things in it relelvent to this thread: http://www.utoronto.ca/virology/mby480/VaccineSafe/VaccineSafe.htm

 

It's called "Vaccine Safety: Current and Future Challenges", published in Pediatric Annals July 1998, by Robert T. Chen MD, MA 

(Chief, Vaccine Safety and Development Activity) and Beth Hibbs RN, MPH (National Immunization Program (E-61)  and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 

 

I'll pick out some bits relevent to what happens with VAERs, but I found the whole article interesting to get a medical professional's (and CDC member's) opinion on vaccine safety programmes and challenges. 

 

They say: 

 

"VAERS is known as a passive surveillance system because it depends on health care providers and/or patients and others to file adverse event reports. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 mandated, for the first time, that health providers report certain adverse events after immunizations.31 VAERS was implemented jointly by the CDC and FDA in 1990 to provide a unified national system for collection of all reports of clinically significant adverse events, including but not limited to those mandated for reporting."

 

"Health effects reported to VAERS as being associated with vaccines may be either 1) true adverse reactions or 2) associated with vaccination only by coincidence but falsely attributed to the vaccine. In the United States, approximately 10,000 reports of both types of events are reported to VAERS each year, with approximately 20% classified as serious.33 Professional follow-up occurs on all reports of deaths and some selected serious events of interest."

 

"The VAERS reporting form is designed to allow a narrative description of adverse events. All persons, including patients, parents (constitute less than 5% of VAERS reports), and health professionals, can report to VAERS. There are no restrictions on onset intervals or requirements for medical care. Annually, VAERS forms are sent to approximately 200,000 physicians in the specialties of pediatrics, family practice, general practice, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and emergency medicine. Copies are also sent to state health departments and to public clinics that administer vaccines. Information sought on the VAERS report include the vaccine received, the timing of the vaccination and the onset of adverse events, demographic information about the recipient, information about concurrent medical illnesses or medications, and past history of adverse events after vaccination. The form is preaddressed and postage-paid so that after completion it can be folded and mailed. To request a VAERS form, assistance in completing the form, or answers to other questions about the reporting system, call 1-800- 822-7967."

 

 

 


Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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