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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website appeared to have quietly “concluded” collecting COVID-19 vaccine adverse events on the federal agency’s V-safe website earlier this summer.
“Thank you for your participation. Data collection for COVID-19 vaccines concluded on June 30, 2023,” the V-safe website reads.
Instead of displaying data collected from the mRNA vaccine, the CDC website redirects users to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) website for adverse event reporting, while health authorities reportedly continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. David Gortler, a Brownstone Institute Fellow who formerly served as a senior official and advisor for the FDA, first reported the change in the CDC’s website, questioning why the federal agency removed the data, asking, “Does this mean that the CDC believes that the mRNA Covid-19 injections are so safe, there is no need to monitor adverse event reports any longer?”
The CDC, however, reportedly is developing a new version of the v-safe system, “which will allow users to share their post-vaccination experiences with new vaccines.”
Since mRNA injections hit the market in 2021, Gortler cited the FDA’s VAERS database that presents the vaccines as “primary suspect” of more than 1.5 million adverse event reports, including heart attacks and cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in the U.S. Gortler also cited an FDA-funded study out of Harvard that states VAERS reports represent less than 1 percent of vaccine adverse events that actually occur.
Before the CDC removed the database, Gortler shared an image from the V-safe Covid Vaccine Adverse Health Impacts dashboard that stated over 6.4 million individuals were impacted out of 10.1 million users, including roughly 2 million who were “unable to conduct normal activities of daily living or needing medical care,” Gortler wrote.
The Brownstone report comes amid rumors that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) managers were recently instructed that pandemic-era restrictions, including mask-wearing for travelers and COVID-19 lockdowns, would return to the U.S. before 2024. But officials reportedly told The Associated Press such reports were “utterly false” and that they never received such information.
Still, President Joe Biden said last week that he plans to ask Congress for additional funding for developing a new COVID-19 vaccine.
“I signed off this morning on a proposal we have to present to the Congress a request for additional funding for a new vaccine that is necessary, that works,” Biden, according to the Associated Press, adding, “It will likely be recommended that everybody get it no matter whether they’ve gotten it before or not.”
Pfizer and Moderna are working on new vaccines to fight the latest variant — descended from omicron — as some scientists warn of rising COVID cases nationwide. At the end of July, COVID hospitalizations were just over 9,000, but that’s only a fraction of the admissions seen during the height of COVID and later surges of the delta and omicron variants, the AP reported. In January 2022, during a surge from Omicron, an estimated 150,000 people were in the hospital from the virus.
The slight rise in COVID cases has caused some businesses and universities to reinstate mask mandates. Morris Brown College in Atlanta is bringing back a mask mandate despite having zero reported cases of COVID on campus.
Lionsgate Films in California also temporarily reinstated mask mandates for some of its Santa Monica offices. The studio said it would have a “building entry policy” that requires employees “to perform a daily self-screening prior to coming to the office each day,” and workers must also notify the company of any “new or worsening symptoms” or if they “traveled internationally in the last 10 days.” Lionsgate has since lifted the mandate, saying it had contained the COVID spread.
This article has been updated for more context and clarity on the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine data collection methods.
Zach Jewell contributed to this report.