U.S. health authorities have responded to the warning from Florida’s surgeon general about a spike in reports of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination.
Drs. Rochelle Walensky and Robert Califf claimed in the response that Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the surgeon general, was misleading the public by focusing on the increase in adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
“The claim that the increase of VAERS reports of life-threatening conditions reported from Florida and elsewhere represents an increase of risk caused by the COVID-19 vaccines is incorrect, misleading, and could be harmful to the American public,” Walensky and Califf said in the missive.
Walensky heads the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Califf heads of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The CDC and FDA co-manage VAERS, which accepts reports from anybody but which is primarily used by healthcare workers.
The COVID-19 vaccines were given emergency authorization in late 2020. Under the emergency authorizations, vaccine companies and healthcare workers are required to report certain adverse events through VAERS, “so more reports should be expected,” Walensky and Califf said.
“Most reports do not represent adverse events caused by the vaccine and instead represent a preexisting condition that preceded vaccination or an underlying medical condition that precipitated the event,” they said.
They did not cite any studies or other research to support the claim.