CDC Data Show Almost 25,000 Adverse Events, 221 Deaths Reported After Bivalent COVID Boosters

Data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) released Friday show 1,533,182 adverse events following COVID-19 vaccines were reported between Dec. 14, 2020, and March 10, 2023. This includes 285,196 reports of serious injuries and 34,725 deaths.

Of the 34,725 reported deaths, 21,733 cases are attributed to Pfizer, 9,770 to Moderna, 2,964 to Johnson & Johnson, and 18 to Novavax. Of the reported deaths, 9% occurred within 24 hours of vaccination, and 13% occurred within 48 hours.

VAERS is a voluntary reporting system co-managed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designed to detect vaccine safety signals.

Excluding “foreign reports” to VAERS, 943,912 adverse events, including 17,114 deaths and 102,050 serious injuries, were reported in the U.S. between Dec. 14, 2020, and March 10, 2023.

Foreign reports are reports from foreign subsidiaries sent to U.S. vaccine manufacturers. Under FDA regulations, if a manufacturer is notified of a foreign case report describing an event that is both serious and does not appear on the product’s labeling, the manufacturer must submit the report to VAERS.

In the U.S., 672 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered as of March 8, including 401 million doses of Pfizer, 252 million doses of Moderna, 19 million doses of Johnson & Johnson, and 82,000 doses of Novavax.

Bivalent Booster Data

As of March 15, 54.2 million people received an experimental bivalent booster dose targeting the no-longer-existing Wuhan strain and obsolete BA.4/BA.5 omicron subvariants.

Since the rollout of bivalent boosters in September 2022 and March 10, there have been 24,641 adverse events reported to VAERS, with 40% attributed to Moderna’s booster and 60% attributed to Pfizer/BioNTech. The data included 221 deaths1,853 serious injuries, and 73 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis (heart inflammation).

The CDC uses a narrowed case definition of myocarditis. To meet the case definition of myocarditis, people must have had “symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart, and medical tests to support the diagnosis of myocarditis and rule out other causes.” This allows them to exclude cases of cardiac arrest, ischemic strokes, and deaths due to heart problems that occur before one has the chance to go to the hospital, obtain a diagnosis, or “dies suddenly.”

The CDC website does not state what happens to these cases, but there is no indication they are tracked or included in the CDC’s myocarditis numbers.

Data for 6-month-olds to 5-year-olds

Data for 5- to 11-year-olds

Data for 12- to 17-year-olds

Data for all age groups to VAERS

Although healthcare providers are required by law to report vaccine adverse events to VAERS, research shows very few do. It is essential that anyone who experiences an adverse event report their own injury.