A social media post claims that the CDC remove COVID-19 vaccine adverse event reports from its website. We fact-checked and found the claim to be Mostly False.
On August 28, 2023, a conservative podcaster named Ben Shapiro in a post on Facebook said that the CDC had removed reports about bad things happening after people got the COVID vaccine from their website.
We have attached a screenshot of the post below:
What is VAERS?
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a passive surveillance system that collects reports of adverse events (possible side effects) following vaccination. It is important to note that VAERS reports are not a substitute for clinical trials, which are designed to test the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. VAERS reports can be submitted by anyone, including healthcare providers, patients, and vaccine manufacturers. The information from VAERS has been used to hint at a possible link between COVID-19 vaccines and their impact on our natural immunity. However, it does not prove that the vaccines directly cause this effect.
Did the CDC remove COVID-19 vaccine adverse event reports from its website?
No, the CDC has not removed COVID vaccine adverse event reports from its website. VAERS is still available and can be accessed on the CDC website.
Moreover, the comments under the Facebook post have a link to an article published on The Daily Wire website. This article shares the same headline as the Facebook post: ‘CDC Removes COVID Vaccine Adverse Event Reports From Website: Report’. Additionally, The Daily Wire’s ‘About’ section indicates that the claimant Ben Shapiro is one of its owners.
The claim that the CDC removed COVID vaccine adverse event reports from its website is likely due to misunderstanding of how VAERS works. VAERS is a passive surveillance system, which means that it relies on people to voluntarily report adverse events. This means that not all adverse events are reported to VAERS, and the reports that are submitted may not be accurate. This inaccurate data often spread widely on social media, contributing to the circulation of false claims. We even previously debunked that VAERS data does not provide evidence that Covid-19 vaccines cause miscarriages.
In addition, our research further showed that the CDC did close its V-safe tracker on May 19, 2023. V-safe was a digital tool that people could use to track their symptoms after getting vaccinated. The CDC closed V-safe because it was not being used by many people.
These two events may have led some people to believe that the CDC was trying to hide information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. However, the CDC has not removed any adverse event reports from its website. The VAERS database is still available and can be accessed by anyone.
The CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review all VAERS reports, but they do not necessarily mean that the vaccine caused the adverse event. There are many other possible explanations for an adverse event, such as a pre-existing condition or a coincidence. The CDC and the FDA continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and will update the public as new information based on clinical trials becomes available.
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