After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assured Americans there were “no safety signals” associated with COVID-19 vaccines, data the agency was forced to disclose on Oct. 3 as the result of a lawsuit showed otherwise.
According to data released by the CDC from its V-safe app, 782,913 Americans sought medical attention, emergency room care and/or were hospitalized after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Another 2.5 million people reported missing school or work or were unable to resume normal activities after receiving a vaccine.
V-safe is a smartphone-based program the CDC deployed to track adverse events following COVID-19 vaccinations.
According to CDC data, about 10 million people used V-safe between Dec. 14, 2020, and July 31, 2022, to report their adverse events. V-safe users reported about 71 million symptoms, 4.2 million of which were classified as “severe.”
Other symptoms reported were chills (3.5 million), swelling (3.6 million), joint pain (4 million), muscle or body aches (7.8 million), headache (9.7 million), fatigue (12.7 million) and general pain (19.5 million).
There was also data entered for 13,000 children younger than 2 years old comprising more than 33,000 symptoms.
Data provided by the CDC only included the fields within the app where users checked boxes pre-determined by the CDC. It did not include free-text responses.
More “health impacts” were attributed to Moderna (1.6 million) than Pfizer (1.4 million) or Johnson & Johnson (0.2 million) among V-safe users.
The CDC released V-safe data after the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) brought a lawsuit against the agency when it failed to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request. ICAN is a non-profit based in Austin “focused on the scientific integrity of vaccines and [the] pharmaceutical industry.”
“It took numerous legal demands, appeals, and two lawsuits, and over a year, but the CDC finally capitulated and agreed to a court order requiring them to do what they should have done from day one, release the V-safe data to the public,” Aaron Siri, a lawyer representing ICAN, told The Epoch Times in an email.
According to the CDC, V-safe allows users to “quickly and easily share with CDC how you, or your dependent, feel after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.” This data is then “collected, managed, and housed on a secure server by Oracle,” a private tech company, in the form of “aggregate de-identified data.” Deidentified data does not contain personal health information and can therefore be shared with the public.
ICAN on Dec. 21, 2021, brought a lawsuit against the CDC because it refused to provide requested V-safe data on the false basis that the “information in the app is not de-identified.” ICAN submitted an additional request to address the CDC’s objection, demanding, “all data submitted to v-safe since January 1, 2020.” When the CDC still refused to release the data, ICAN filed another lawsuit.
After months of litigation, a federal court in Texas gave the CDC until Sept. 30, 2022, to produce the first batch of data collected via its V-safe app on adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination. In total, the agency will be required to release more than 137 million V-safe entries.
The CDC has presented summaries of V-safe data during meetings held by its vaccine advisory panel but had never released the data to be examined by outside researchers who have no vested interest in COVID-19 vaccines or ties to pharmaceutical companies. During these meetings, both researchers and the CDC said the data raised no safety concerns despite millions of severe adverse events reported through the app.
ICAN will meet with the CDC now that the data has been released regarding other information the organization will seek from the agency. The parties will then file a joint status report “that proposes any additional deadlines that the parties determine are necessary for the resolution of this matter.”