Recently, a group of researchers working out of both the UK (Queen Mary University, University of Birmingham, Network Rail, Health Informatics and Knowledge Engineering Research Group) and New Zealand (Massey University) conducted a study, in the form of a preliminary analysis, of adverse events associated with the COVID-19 vaccine. Titled “Analysis of COVID-19 vaccine death reports from the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting Systems (VAERS),” the authors conclude with a sample of the early death data reported in VAERS—this equates to 250 out of the 1,644 deaths recorded up to April 2021. The interim analysis authors asked what many consider a supreme question here given growing concern, at least among some societal cohorts about the COVID-19 vaccine program: are the COVID-19 vaccines, currently under emergency use authorization (EUA) in America a cause or contributor to any deaths? The researchers counter the common disclaimer that contribution to the VAERS database comes solely from the lay public, hence the data is wildly unreliable. Not the case here, suggests the study authors, vowing that “at least 67%” originate from health service employees.” The study authors further posit that only 14% of these deaths can be conclusively determined as disassociated with the vaccine. Thus 86% of the 250 deaths (N=215) were scrutinized for some material connection. They concluded that while the overall data set has an inherent bias (e.g. those first vaccinated tended to be elderly or count higher rates of comorbidities) by employing a rigorous, two-part clinical review they are able to drive considerable bias out of their analysis and conclude that 13 of the 250 deaths included in the interim analysis are highly likely to be associated directly with the COVID-19 vaccine. Of course, this interim analysis isn’t peer-reviewed and won’t be eligible as worthy of evidence at this point among government agencies. But the methodical review is worthy of note, particularly as the group continues to analyze the rest of the 1,644 deaths for ensuing analysis. The study can be reviewed here.

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