Data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) released Friday show 1,524,482 adverse events following COVID-19 vaccines were reported between Dec. 14, 2020, and Feb. 17, 2023. This includes 282,890 reports of serious injuries and 34,478 deaths.
Of the 34,478 reported deaths, 21,609 cases are attributed to Pfizer, 9,690 to Moderna, 2,952 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.
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., 670 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered as of Feb. 15, including 400 million doses of Pfizer, 251 million doses of Moderna, 19 million doses of Johnson & Johnson, and 79,000 doses of Novavax.
Bivalent Booster Data
As of Feb. 23, 53.3 million people received an experimental bivalent booster dose targeting the no-longer-existing Wuhan strain and obsolete BA.4/BA.5 omicron subvariants.
Between the rollout of bivalent boosters in September 2022 and Feb. 17, there were 22,971 adverse events reported to VAERS, with 39% attributed to Moderna’s booster and 61% attributed to Pfizer/BioNTech. The data included 191 deaths, 1,623 serious injuries, and 69 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.
According to the CDC, VAERS data available to the public include the initial reports to VAERS. Any updates or corrections to reports during follow-up are used by the government for analysis but are not made available to the public. In other words, we may see an initial report for a heart problem that later leads to death, but we will not see an updated report if a person dies, nor will that death be included in the statistics.
Data for 6-month-olds to 5-year-olds
- 5,840 adverse events, including 249 cases rated as serious and 13 reported deaths.
- 5 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis.
- 35 reports of blood clotting disorders.
- 58 reports of seizures.
Data for 5- to 11-year-olds
- 16,992 adverse events, including 817 rated as serious and 33 reported deaths.
- 48 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis.
- 76 reports of blood clotting disorders.
- 192 reports of seizures.
Data for 12- to 17-year-olds
- 41,443 adverse events, including 4,625 rated as serious and 139 reported deaths.
- 276 reports of anaphylaxis among 12- to 17-year-olds where the reaction was life-threatening, required treatment, or resulted in death.
- 1,349 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis, with 1,182 cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine.
- 311 reports of blood clotting disorders, with 284 cases attributed to Pfizer.
- 31 cases of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) were attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine.
Data for all age groups to VAERS
- 16% of deaths were related to cardiac disorders.
- 53% of those who died were male, and 41% were female. The remaining death reports do not list the gender of the deceased.
- The average age of death was 72.
- As of Feb. 17, 8,995 pregnant women reported adverse events related to COVID-19 vaccines, including 5,207 reports of miscarriage or premature birth.
- Of the 17,077 cases of Bell’s palsy reported, 73% were attributed to Pfizer vaccinations, 22% to Moderna, and 5% to J&J.
- 3,221 reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome.
- 10,374 reports of anaphylaxis where the reaction was life-threatening, required treatment or resulted in death.
- 8,431 reports of myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest.
- 45,486 reports of blood-clotting disorders. Of those, 31,483 reports were attributed to Pfizer, 10,363 reports to Moderna, and 3,933 reports to Johnson & Johnson.
- 25,373 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis, with 19,259 cases attributed to Pfizer, 5,616 cases to Moderna, and 440 to Johnson & Johnson.
- 78 cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, with 64 cases attributed to Pfizer, 12 to Moderna, and 2 to J&J.
- 683 cases of POTS, with 506 cases attributed to Pfizer, 150 cases to Moderna, and 26 cases to Johnson & Johnson.
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.