The responses to my recent letter to Voice of the People about vaccinations are by no means surprising, but are still unfortunate.

I stand behind my statements regarding COVID-19 vaccinations because the current data and evidence is clear that they are safe and highly effective in reducing transmission of the virus while significantly decreasing the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death.

As a health care professional, I feel an obligation to share what I know and use my voice to positively impact the health and well-being of our community.

With that being said, I did review the Data Page of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) website as one recent letter to the editor suggested.

The VAERS disclaimer explicitly states: “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. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind.”

Despite what some people might have you believe, it’s important to remember that “the report of an adverse event to VAERS is NOT documentation that a vaccine caused the event” (www.vaers.hhs.gov/data/dataguide.html).

If you have any questions or concerns about vaccinations or current medications you’re taking, I encourage you to speak with your primary care provider or a trusted healthcare professional.

Andrew McCarty

Hastings

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