VAERS accepts reports of adverse events and reactions that occur following vaccination. Healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the public can submit reports to the system. While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. In large part, reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. This creates specific limitations on how the data can be used scientifically. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind.
The strengths of VAERS are that it is national in scope and can quickly provide an early warning of a safety problem with a vaccine. As part of CDC and FDA’s multi-system approach to post-licensure vaccine safety monitoring, VAERS is designed to rapidly detect unusual or unexpected patterns of adverse events, also known as “safety signals.” If a safety signal is found in VAERS, further studies can be done in safety systems such as the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) or the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) project. These systems do not have the same scientific limitations as VAERS, and can better assess health risks and possible connections between adverse events and a vaccine.
Key considerations and limitations of VAERS data:
VAERS data available to the public include only the initial report data to VAERS. Updated data which contains data from medical records and corrections reported during follow up are used by the government for analysis. However, for numerous reasons including data consistency, these amended data are not available to the public.
Developed a red spot on her left side; This is a spontaneous report received from a non-contactable reporter(s) (Consumer or other non HCP), Program ID: The reporter is the parent. A female patient received BNT162b2 (BNT162B2), on 03Jun2022 as dose 1, single (Batch/Lot number: unknown) for covid-19 immunization. The patient's relevant medical history and concomitant medications were not reported. The following information was reported: MACULE (non-serious) with onset 03Jun2022, outcome "unknown", described as "Developed a red spot on her left side". Additional information: It was reported that the caller stated that she took her daughter to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine first dose on Friday but didn't mention the specific date. She stated that overnight right above her temple, she developed a red spot on her left side. She asked if she needed to be worried and she was afraid that she might die in front of her. No follow-up attempts are possible; information about lot/batch number cannot be obtained. No further information is expected.
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