A new poll by the European Commission’s (EC) Special Eurobarometer on Vaccines found that 48 percent of European surveyed believe that vaccines often produce serious side effects, compared with 41 percent who don’t. The face-to-face poll of 27,524 respondents was conducted by European market research firm Kantar between Mar. 15 and Mar. 29, 2019 at the request of the EU’s Directorate General for Health and Safety.1 2
In more than half of the 28 countries in the European Union (EU), including France and the United Kingdom, at least 50 percent of the people surveyed believe that vaccine often cause serious side effects. In only four countries—Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland—did more than half of the people surveyed conclude that vaccines do not often cause serious side effects.1 2
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “serious adverse events occur rarely (on the order of one per thousands to one per millions of doses), and some are so rare that risk cannot be accurately assessed.” In terms of vaccines causing death, the WHO notes that “so few deaths can plausibly be attributed to vaccines that it is hard to assess the risk statistically.”1 3
The source for these statistics is unclear, although the figures appear to originate with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which states on its website that severe reactions to vaccines are “very rare.” The CDC estimates that “at fewer than 1 in a million doses.” It adds, “As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death.”4
It appears to be a mystery how the CDC came up with the generic “fewer than 1 in a million doses” estimate for the incidence of severe vaccine reactions. Does that number hold for every CDC recommended vaccine mandated for children or for a few vaccines or for all vaccines? Where is the long term prospective case controlled study scientifically evaluating the safety of the CDC’s recommended child and adult vaccine schedules to add credibility to that estimate? Until those studies are done, it appears to be more of a “guestimate” used to minimize the side effects of individual vaccines and the risks posed by one-size-fits all vaccine schedules for those who are genetically or biologically at higher risk for suffering vaccine reactions.
The federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) created under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which is run jointly by the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), contains over 700,000 reports of health problems, including injuries and deaths, reported after vaccinations given in the U.S. since 1988.5
Under the 1986 Act, vaccine providers are required by law to report to VAERS.6
However, there are no fines or other legal penalties for not reporting and less than one percent of vaccine reactions are ever reported to federal government health officials.7
Furthermore, many doctors and other health care professionals administering vaccines to children and adults are not even aware that VAERS even exists.8
According to Steven Rubin, PhD:
Because the reports are submitted voluntarily, many patients and doctors do not report vaccine reactions. Different estimates exist for the amount of underreporting and range from a factor of 10 to as much as a factor of 100 (meaning that the true number of vaccine reactions is between 10 and 100 times higher than what is reported to VAERS).8 9
“The side effects of vaccines have, unfortunately, been downplayed by the establishment in order to encourage and promote uptake,” says Richard Halvorsen, MD, founder of a vaccination clinic in London, England called BabyJabs.10 11
But even to say that vaccine reactions are underreported or downplayed may not begin to approach the truth, because vaccine side effects are rarely acknowledged.
“[I]f you or your child get vaccinated, suffer brain inflammation and never recover your health, you can be sure that it will either be dismissed as ‘just a coincidence,’ or you will be labeled genetically defective with the claim you would have become brain damaged even if no vaccines had been given,” notes Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC).12
So whenever a serious health problem occurs shortly after a vaccination, doctors rationalize that it can’t possibly be due to the vaccination because they have been taught that vaccines are safe and rarely, if ever, cause serious side effects. Therefore, serious vaccine reactions are rarely reported and, because there are so few reports of serious vaccine reactions compared to numbers of people vaccinated, it can be said that vaccines rarely cause serious side effects. Ergo, vaccines are safe.
That approximates the scientific logic that buttresses vaccine safety.
This article or commentary provides referenced information and perspective on a topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics being discussed in public forums and by U.S. lawmakers. The websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provide information and perspective of federal agencies responsible for vaccine research, development, regulation and policymaking.
1 Jamieson A. Half of Europeans wrongly believe vaccines often cause serious side-effects. Euronews Apr. 28, 2019.
2 Eurobarometer 488. European Commission.
3 World Health Organization. Six common misconceptions about immunization. WHO.int.
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Understanding Side Effects and Adverse Events. CDC.gov.
5 National Vaccine Information Center. Search the VAERS Database. MedAlerts Mar. 14, 2019.
6 NVIC. National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. NVIC.org.
7 Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc. Electronic System for Public Health Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. AHRQ 2011.
8 Cáceres M. Odds of Vaccine Harm are One in a Million? The Vaccine Reaction Sept. 6, 2017.
9 Rubin S. The Limits of VAERS. MedAlerts February 2012.
10 Dr. Richard Halvorsen. DrHalvorsen.co.uk.
11 BabyJabs. BabyJabs.co.uk.
12 Fisher BL. The Vaccine Revolution for Truth. NVIC Newsletter Apr. 19, 2017.