Misuse of the VAERS database to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about vaccines has been a favorite technique of antivaxxers for decades. Unfortunately, 2021 was the year when this particular antivax trope was turbocharged, and public health messaging seemed powerless to counter it.
In response to the dumpster-diving VAERS study published earlier this month, pediatric cardiologist and guest blogger Dr. Frank Han adds context by explaining how cardiologists think about and diagnose myocarditis.
A recent pre-print inappropriately used VAERS to calculated the rate of myocarditis after the COVID-19 vaccine. However, even if the rate was correct, the article glosses over the dangers of the virus and the efficacy of the vaccine.
Dumpster diving in the VAERS database to find more COVID-19 vaccine-associated myocarditis in children
"Dumpster diving" is a term used to describe studies using data from the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System database by authors, almost always antivaxxers, who don't understand its limitations. Last week, non-antivax doctors who should know better fell into this trap when they promoted their study suggesting that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are more dangerous to children than the disease.
The efforts of antivaxxers to portray COVID-19 vaccines as harmful or even deadly continue apace (VAERS edition)
With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines continuing apace, so are the efforts of antivaxxers to portray the vaccines as dangerous. This time around, they've resurrected the old antivaccine trick of deceptively misusing the VAERS database to imply causation from VAERS reports. That's not how VAERS works, however.
This book is a handy compendium of everything worth knowing about the anti-vaccine movement and how to challenge the misinformation.
It’s amazing how, to antivaccine activists, it just so happens that a vaccine that targets a sexually transmitted virus must also destroy a girl’s ovaries. It must be a coincidence, right?