The office was dedicated to the long-term safety of vaccines. Experts say plans to track coronavirus vaccines are fragmented and “behind the eight ball.”

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President Trump and the Health and Human Services secretary, Alex M. Azar II, who disbanded the National Vaccine Program Office last year. Photo: Al Drago for The New York Times

By Carl Zimmer

As the first coronavirus vaccines arrive in the coming year, government researchers will face a monumental challenge: monitoring the health of hundreds of millions of Americans to ensure the vaccines don’t cause harm.

Purely by chance, thousands of vaccinated people will have heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses shortly after the injections. …

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