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We Added Vaccine Lot Information

Published on
28 December 2023

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Before now, we had not waded into the issue of "bad batches" of Covid-19 vaccines for a few reasons. The main issue was that there was no denominator and we had no complete data on lot size or distribution. In order to determine the rate of injury, one needs to know both the number of injuries (numerator) and the lot size (denominator).

Thanks to Informed Consent Action Network(ICAN) and its attorneys we now have the data we need to determine the injury rate by lot number. Aaron Siri and his legal team forced the CDC to comply with its legal demand to disclose complete lot information, and this time obtained the FULL lot information including city, state, zip, lot size, shipments, and more. We now have the complete dose distribution for the Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen COVID vaccines

So, let's dive in. There are two pieces to looking at the COVID lot numbers: the VAERS entries and what we now have, the master list of lot data.

Cleaning Up the VAERS Data

The VAERS data are very messy, and in this sea of messy data, the lots are the messiest. CDC did not give people reporting to VAERS a list of lot numbers to choose from or a standardized field to fill in. Instead they gave them a text field to write whatever they wanted. (And they did. From "???????????" to "I DON'T KNOW".) When VAERS submitters do enter numbers they make tons of mistakes— they enter extra zeros, random characters, the name of the manufacturer, the words "lot number", the date, etc. The official lot numbers are uppercase, yet people entered lowercase or a mix. Though all these issues are easily remedied, the CDC does not cleanse the VAERS lot data in any way. Our rule at OpenVAERS has been to not clean data so that it matches with CDC's Wonder data. With our current analysis we will continue to not clean the data. We will however be ignoring capitalization in our queries (E=e) – as the CDC and Medalerts do and use a looser MySQL match (LIKE) at the beginning and ending of the Lot Number. This will capture *EN6201* or *en6201* (the *s representing any characters). 

The New Lot Data

This came to us directly from Siri & Glimstad LLP, the attorneys who obtained the data from the CDC. The data was split into 1 Pfizer and 2 Moderna sheets due to the million+ table rows. We imported it into our mysql database and restructured it to build our charts and the vaccine lot search page. If there is a chart you would like to see please let us know. Finally, while the new data gives us the city and zip of distribution, VAERS does not, so we cannot achieve that level of granularity on adverse events. This is why we only display the data per state.

The new data on harms by lot number are just for Pfizer, Moderna and J&J Covid-19 shots (so, no Novavax - yet) and are just for the U.S. and Territories (so, no foreign reports).

One final note on the new data: Lot number 015B22A(Moderna) was an outlier. There were only 1,000 doses shipped with 1 death and 2 hospitalizations. The death report is a group report and we decided to not include this report in the data visualizations as it distorts the analysis without adding any new insights.

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