Data published Friday by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) show 1,535,966 adverse events following COVID-19 vaccines were reported between Dec. 14, 2020, and March 17, 2023. This includes 285,907 reports of serious injuries and 34,819 deaths.
Of the 34,819 reported deaths, 21,770 cases are attributed to Pfizer, 9,807 to Moderna, 2,976 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.
In the U.S., 672 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered as of March 15, 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 22, the CDC reported 54.5 million people had 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 17, there have been 25,482 adverse events reported to VAERS, with 40% attributed to Moderna’s booster and 60% attributed to Pfizer/BioNTech. The data included 228 deaths, 1,937 serious injuries, and 75 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
- 5,993 adverse events, including 255 cases rated as serious and 13 reported deaths.
- 5 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis.
- 35 reports of blood clotting disorders.
- 59 reports of seizures.
Data for 5- to 11-year-olds
- 17,185 adverse events, including 829 rated as serious and 34 reported deaths.
- 48 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis.
- 76 reports of blood clotting disorders.
- 193 reports of seizures.
Data for 12- to 17-year-olds
- 41,582 adverse events, including 4,658 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.
- 1,354 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis, with 1,185 cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine.
- 312 reports of blood clotting disorders, with 285 cases attributed to Pfizer.
- 32 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 March 17, 9,049 pregnant women reported adverse events related to COVID-19 vaccines, including 5,238 reports of miscarriage or premature birth.
- Of the 17,168 cases of Bell’s palsy reported, 73% were attributed to Pfizer vaccinations, 22% to Moderna, and 5% to J&J.
- 3,266 reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome.
- 10,400 reports of anaphylaxis where the reaction was life-threatening, required treatment or resulted in death.
- 8,510 reports of myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest.
- 46,222 reports of blood-clotting disorders. Of those, 31,739 reports were attributed to Pfizer, 10,453 reports to Moderna, and 3,954 reports to Johnson & Johnson.
- 25,515 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis, with 19,374 cases attributed to Pfizer, 5,637 cases to Moderna, and 444 to Johnson & Johnson.
- 79 cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, with 65 cases attributed to Pfizer, 12 to Moderna, and 2 to J&J.
- 715 cases of POTS, with 529 cases attributed to Pfizer, 156 cases to Moderna, and 29 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.