Underreporting and Post-Vaccine Deaths in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) Explained

Evaluating the claims of unsafe Covid-19 vaccines based on what has been reported to VAERS objectively.

Shin Jie Yong, MSc (Res)
Microbial Instincts
11 min readJul 17, 2021

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Image adapted from freepik.com.

Vaccine safety is a polarized topic. Many either stay on the side of safe or unsafe vaccines when the reality isn’t so black and white. A vaccine is a type of drug. Like antibiotics, birth control pills, statins, and antidepressants, they all come with risks and hopefully more benefits.

That said, this article will examine if there’s any truth or validity in the claims that Covid-19 vaccines are unsafe based on what has been reported to the vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS), a passive surveillance system that monitors vaccine safety in the U.S. beyond clinical trials.

The unsafe Covid-19 vaccines narrative

In the rather popular DarkHorse podcast, three people— Bret Weinstein, Ph.D., evolutionary biologist, Robert Malone, MD, MS, one of the pioneers of mRNA vaccine, and Steve Kirsch, MS, founder of seven tech companies — discussed problems in how the pandemic is handled. One of the problems was vaccine safety based on VAERS data.

They brought up the graph below that showed a huge spike in post-vaccine deaths in 2021 compared to previous years in the U.S. And they emphasized that the Covid-19 vaccines are a reasonable and perhaps the only possible explanation for these deaths.

(In May 2021, Mr. Tucker Carlson also pushed the same narrative in his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, where he announced that nearly 4000 people had died after getting the Covid-19 vaccine, based on VAERS data. Other sites have also made similar claims.)

Author’s screenshot as of 13 July 2021 (source). This graph is the one Mr. Kirsch cited in the podcast and article on trialsitenews.com.

Mr. Kirsch also said that this is an underestimate. So, “the public doesn’t know how many people have died from the vaccine,” he said. “It could be only 1% of reports that are actually reported…which means 5000 reports translate to 500,000 deaths [but] I don't think it’s that high…but it’s higher. I guarantee…

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Shin Jie Yong, MSc (Res)
Microbial Instincts

Named Standford's world top 1% scientists | Independent science writer and researcher | Powerlifter with national records | Medium boost program's nominator