Reporting system tracks adverse reactions to vaccination – Methow Valley News


By Marcy Stamper

With nearly 100 million Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 – and millions of additional vaccines administered worldwide – it is inevitable that there will be adverse events in those vaccinated, even if these reactions are unrelated to the vaccine, Okanogan County Coroner Dave Rodriguez said.

Particularly because the first people to receive the vaccine are elderly or have a health condition that puts them at a higher risk of COVID, these people also have a high risk of death from another cause, he said. -he declares.

In Okanogan County, two people died within days of receiving a COVID vaccine, although those people clearly died from other health issues and were not in good health, Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez has been following reports of complications from COVID vaccines. The only link that has been documented is an anaphylactic response. Allergic reactions happen very quickly – within 15 minutes or an hour of the vaccine, not days, Rodriguez said.

Deaths from an allergic reaction are extremely rare. The most recent data reviewed by Rodriguez showed five deaths after the administration of some 2 million vaccines.

Because it’s fairly isolated in Okanogan County, Rodriguez raised the issue at a March meeting of the Washington Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners, which developed standardized protocols that include reporting COVID vaccinations.

National reports

Since COVID vaccines are all so new, the long-term effects cannot yet be known. Anytime there is a reaction to a vaccine – any vaccine, even long used – a healthcare provider reports it to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

VAERS is a national early warning system for detecting potential safety issues with vaccines licensed in the United States. The system is co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Food and Drug Administration. VAERS can identify unusual or unexpected patterns that could indicate possible safety issues.

Healthcare providers report clinically significant adverse events to VAERS, even if they are not sure the vaccination caused the event. The system is also used by individuals to report their own reactions to the vaccine and those of their family members. VAERS data is publicly available.

Forensic pathologists and coroners are strongly encouraged to report deaths after COVID-19 vaccine administration to VAERS, regardless of their attribution to the vaccination.

The fact that a deceased person was recently vaccinated is only part of the investigation, Rodriguez said. After determining whether the death is natural, Rodriguez examines the condition of the body and discusses with family and friends the person’s medical history and how they felt before the death. He consults with health care providers and inspects medical records and reviews home items such as prescription drugs.

As part of this process, if the person had symptoms of COVID, Rodriguez takes a nasal swab, which is sent to a lab for confirmation. If they learn that the person has recently had a COVID vaccine (or any vaccine), they complete the VAERS form.

For more information on VAERS, visit

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