Besides the virus itself, one of the biggest challenges facing America in its fight against the pandemic is all the misinformation circulating on social media and the internet in general. It's understandable that some would seek out information, whether true or not, that agrees with their opinion, or simply want to believe that there is some sinister motive behind the pandemic, the recommendations, or the vaccine.
One claim spreading wildly on social media has picked up traction because it links to a real database on the CDC website. It claims the site shows tens of thousands of deaths because of the COVID-19 vaccine. While someone could casually look at the site and believe that, it is simply not true.
“The cases were reported to the Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System, known as VAERS, which is a system that the CDC and FDA co-manage to serve as an early warning system to monitor the safety of vaccines.” Says Doctor Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC.
All those reported deaths are not from the vaccine, instead, they are all reported deaths of people that got the vaccine. When non-credible sources link to the data, they skip over an important disclaimer, and don't properly explain what the numbers are actually referring to.
The VAERS disclaimer includes the following:
Vaccine providers are encouraged to report any clinically significant health problem following vaccination to VAERS, whether or not they believe the vaccine was the cause. Reports may include incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental and unverified information. The number of reports alone cannot be interpreted or used to reach conclusions about the existence, severity, frequency, or rates of problems associated with vaccines.The truth is, so far, the vaccines are as safe as any other available today. While there have been public reports of mild to moderate symptoms, more serious reactions were reported in just a few hundred recipients, out of more than 160-million people vaccinated. Earlier this year, there was a report of people under the age of 30 developing a heart condition after their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. "Over the last several months, we have been asking clinicians to be on the lookout for and report patients with symptoms of myocarditis or pericarditis following vaccination." Said Dr. Walensky. "These cases are rare, and the vast majority have fully resolved with rest and supportive care."Among those who developed myocarditis was Noah Heier. The high school students spent one day in the hospital for treatment and observation. Since then, he says he's had no lingering symptoms from his reaction. "This experience was much better than getting COVID." Said Heier.