Partially deleted European VAERS data

Last Friday (11/18/22), this notice appeared on the CDC’s VAERS download page:

The SYMPTOM_TEXT field, which is the main descriptive narrative text of a VAERS report, is now completely blank for all foreign VAERS reports originating from Europe. European VAERS records account for 75% of foreign records (511,715 out of 680,200). Interestingly, none of the foreign registrations prior to 2000 were affected by this (although there are only 3,435); either they were all non-European, or they were not subject to these rules.

This definitely has a detrimental effect on some of the resources/websites that report on VAERS data. Any graphics or data from this information in the SYMPTOM_TEXT field for European VAERS reports would have been adversely affected. Regarding the weekly summary on this website, it appears to only affect the Symptoms page (page 10), which attempts to collect data from the SYMPTOM_TEXT field for some of the symptoms listed.

Whether or not there were really valid reasons for this change, this is undoubtedly another strike against transparency by our regulatory agencies.

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