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Study shows VAERS data 'underreported by a factor of 20'

CDC's cost-benefit analysis of COVID vaccination concludes that it's worth the risk - but are they right?

Posted by Frontline News Staff

February 14, 2022


08:54 AM

Study shows VAERS data 'underreported by a factor of 20'

How many deaths are acceptable when considering side-effects to vaccination? The question is always an important one to answer, and many times more so when the vaccination campaign in question aims to reach every man, woman, and child on the globe. 

According to data received by VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System established by the CDC in 1990, deaths associated with Covid-19 vaccines are extremely rare; the CDC estimates the vaccine-induced fatality rate (VFR) to be just 0.002 percent. To put that in more concrete terms, one person out of every 50,000 people vaccinated will die due to receiving the shot; in a scenario where the world’s entire population is vaccinated, around 155 thousand people will die as a direct result of the vaccination. Given that over five million people are said to have died from coronavirus itself to date, such a vaccine-induced fatality rate is an acceptable price to pay, or so goes the thinking.

According to a recent study, however, deaths reported to VAERS as associated with vaccination are “underreported by a factor of 20,” leading to very different conclusions in a cost-benefit analysis of COVID vaccination. If the study’s results are correct, the number of vaccine-associated deaths world-wide would rise to over three million by the time the entire world population is vaccinated. Although that is still less than the number of COVID-linked deaths, vaccination is not one-hundred-percent effective in preventing death; furthermore, many of the vaccine-induced fatalities would occur among age-groups and sectors that would be unlikely to be similarly impacted by coronavirus infection.


The study was conducted by researchers from Columbia University using published and readily available data from both Europe and the United States. In order to account for the possible effects of pandemic-era health measures and restrictions as well as changes in human behavior, the models were adjusted relative to deaths in the year 2020. 

Analysis of data from Europe and the United States showed that during the first four weeks following the first vaccine dose, there was a positive association between vaccination and mortality rates. From the fifth or sixth week post-vaccination, the association was negative, but then at around 20 weeks, the trend reversed again and there was once more a positive association between vaccination and mortality. These results tallied with what is already known from a plethora of data on vaccine efficacy – namely, that efficacy wanes significantly by around five months post-vaccination.

One finding that surprised the researchers, however, was an indirect adverse effect of adult vaccination on mortality for children under the age of 14 during the first 18 weeks post-vaccination for adults. Most of these deaths occurred in infants prior to their first birthday; when the focus was specifically on that age bracket, a “significant effect of vaccination on infant mortality” was found.

Broken down into age groups, what the study found was:


Age groupVFR (Vaccine-induced fatality rate)
0 - 170.004%
18 - 290.005%
30 - 390.009%
40 - 490.017%
50 - 640.016%
65 - 740.036%
75 - 840.06%
85 -0.055%


The average VFR was thus calculated as 0.04%, twenty times greater than the estimate given by the CDC, approximating to between 146 thousand and 187 thousand deaths in the United States alone. These figures applied to the period between February and August of 2021.

The study’s authors then noted the parallel infection fatality rates (IFR) for coronavirus:


AgeIFRVFR (approximate age parallel)
35 0.009%
85 +15%0.055%


They concluded that: 

“In individuals with no previous exposure and natural immunity, the benefits of vaccination appear to outweigh the risks in age groups >75 years, where the IFR (>1%) is one or two orders of magnitude greater than the estimated VFR of 0.06% in this age group.”

They added that:

“The benefits may outweigh the risks in ages >45 with high occupational risk (and no previous coronavirus exposure) where the IFR of 0.1% is an order of magnitude higher than the estimated VFR of 0.01%.”


This study was based on data gathered prior to the Omicron variant’s emergence, a variant with significantly lower mortality rates than the mutations previously dominant. Just how less lethal Omicron is than Delta remains to be seen. 

Other factors to be taken into consideration include the likelihood of contracting Covid-19 in the first place; at the time of this study, the virus was at a less contagious stage than it currently is. Also, COVID mortality rates rise significantly in the presence of comorbidities, artificially inflating the likelihood of dying of coronavirus for those who are basically healthy when no allowances are made for factors other than age (although it is possible that comorbidities may influence the likelihood of suffering an adverse event from vaccination).

What this study does demonstrate, however, is that VAERS data – as has been posited many times – grossly underestimates the true prevalence of the adverse effects of vaccination, even when the adverse effects concerned are as extreme as death.

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