What percentage of adverse reactions are reported? Nobody knows

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On Thursday, right toward the end of her daily duty on TV, prime minister Jacinda Ardern said text messages would be sent to covid-19 ‘vaccinated’ people asking them to report any adverse reactions. She urged all those who get the Ministry of Health text to respond to it.

It’s strange that this TV appeal came 48 hours after a friend of The Buzz team made inquiries to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) asking about the level of adverse reaction reports it had recieved. Of all the people who have an adverse reaction to the covid jab, what percentage report it to CARM?

CARM is run by Otago University on behalf of the Ministry of Health and collects data on anyone who wants to report a reaction to any medication – it’s open to members of the public and health professionals. CARM has a dedicated webpage for those wanting to report an adverse reaction to the covid jab.

In July, The Buzz, published a story – What are the odds of an adverse reaction? – based on a PubMed report (Under-reporting of adverse reactions) that concluded reporting levels worldwide are low.

The report, by Hazell Lorna, reviewed 37 systems in 12 countries to determine the extent of under-reporting of adverse reactions. The report says the median under-reporting rate is 94%. This means only 6% of adverse reactions are reported.

The question for CARM is, what percentage of adverse reaction reporting is taking place is New Zealand? If one can obtain a reliable reporting rate you can do a bit of math to extrapolate a more accurate adverse reaction figure.

Our colleague contacted CARM to find out and what followed was a lengthy email exchange which boiled down to CARM saying it has no idea. Not a ballpark, not a best guess. It has no clue.

A CARM spokesperson said: “…Your question is asking for a ‘best guess’ and there is insufficient knowledge of likely reporting rates to any covid vaccine or to the specific Pfizer vaccine to base a best guess on.”

It means that when CARM and Medsafe publish vaccine adverse reaction figures, which they do every week (with a two-week lag), every number must have a question mark against it.

Did eight people have a heart attack after a Pfizer jab? Or is the figure 34? No one knows. Have 26 people died after a Pfizer jab or is it closer to 80? No one knows. Have 20 people had a stroke from the vaccine or is it 87? No one knows. How many mums-to-be have lost their unborn child to the covid jab? Is it five or 19? No one knows.

Have more than 70 people in New Zealand died from the Pfizer jab? Doctors SOS seem to think so.

Safe and effective?

Remember, we are told the Pfizer vaccine is ‘safe and effective’. But if the adverse reaction reporting system isn’t reliable then how can we know? If they don’t know, we can’t know.

Neither can the politicians telling us to get jabbed for our children’s sake (forgetting that vaccines only reduce symptoms – they don’t stop people catching a virus or passing it on).

And should the trial Pfizer jab, given emergency authorisation by an un-named person at Medsafe, be given to children if the adverse reaction data is so sketchy?

How it used to be

It appears that until 2013 New Zealand ran the Intensive Medicines Monitoring Programme which collected every prescription for every patient who was given a new medicine that had been granted approval for use on condition it was closely monitored.

Every patient was followed up every two or four months, and every reason they went to see a health professional was recorded and collated. This increased reporting rates. This system no longer exists.

In 2004/5 the people at CARM ran the Intensive Vaccines Monitoring Programme that monitored patients given the meningococcal (MeNZB) vaccine. This system no longer exists.

A spokesperson for CARM says: “The reporting to CARM is now somewhat different to years past as social media plays a very big part.”

Presumably the CARM team is scouring social media for adverse reaction reports. Unfortunately, it may not be aware that anyone critical of covid vaccines will likely have their account suspended. Dissenting voices are not supported by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google et al.

The CARM spokesperson says: “I feel confident that…we will be capturing a fairly high rate of cases.”

Unfortunately, as we know, the spokesperson was not able to state what number best reflects a “fairly high rate of cases”.

Think of a number, double it, add 12, take away the first number you thought of, add your age, and divide by three. Now roll a dice.

Suffered a vaccine injury? Read this.

Below is the MoH press release published 26 August:

The Ministry of Health has launched the Post Vaccine Symptom Check, a mobile-based survey that will help monitor reactions to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in New Zealand, COVID-19 vaccination programme GM Post Event, Dr Tim Hanlon says. 

“New Zealand already has a reporting system in place for monitoring reactions to any vaccine or medicine, which can be submitted by both patients and their healthcare professionals through the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM).

“The Post Vaccine Symptom Check is another tool. It’s a proactive way to increase our data collection about reactions to the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine.

“Up to 10 percent of New Zealanders who receive a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be randomly selected to participate in the survey.

“A text message will be sent from the Ministry of Health six days after each dose of the vaccine and 43 days after the second dose, to ask whether you had any reactions to the vaccine. The first texts will be sent in the coming days. 

Participants can reply to the message for free by texting YES, NO or STOP to opt out.

“If the reply is YES, a unique URL will be sent via text, linking to a survey where participants are asked to provide more details about their reactions.

“We ask that everyone who receives a text message participates, even if they haven’t had a reaction. If you don’t receive a text, you can report any reactions to the Pfizer vaccine through the CARM website or by calling Healthline, even if they are mild.

“The Post Vaccine Symptom Check will run daily for the remainder of the COVID-19 Immunisation Programme. Data collected from the survey will be grouped and anonymously displayed on the Medsafe website once there is enough data to report, likely by late-September. 

“Responses to the survey are being captured for data collection purposes only and individual cases will not be followed up on by CARM.

“The Post Vaccine Symptom Check is an important data collection tool, but it does not replace advice from a healthcare professional.

“Most side effects of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are mild and don’t last long, however, if you feel unwell after your vaccination, speak to your healthcare professional for advice or call Healthline.

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