Change the Dinosaur Database: Improve VAERS Now!

As the Obama Administration has appropriately emphasized, technology has the power to add enormous efficiency and quality to American Healthcare.

The federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is intended, in part, to serve this purpose.  VAERS collects information about adverse events (possible side effects) that occur after the administration of US-licensed vaccines.

Unfortunately, VAERS relies on voluntary reporting by self-informed patients, busy doctors and other health-care providers, who are often unfamiliar with the system.  The forms are hard to fill out, and the database is archaic in design.  Thus, it is no surprise that the accuracy of VAERS data is questionable.

Worse yet, once a case has been reported, the mechanisms to track and monitor what happens next are not always efficient or accurate. Initial symptoms might be benign; later ones, horrific.

The system we are all relying on does not work.

Vaccines save millions of lives. We have all but eradicated polio and measles in the developing world.  However, that does not mean that every vaccine that comes to market is perfect.  Adverse side effects do happen.  Without trustworthy data about those side effects, anecdotal reports can spread panic and fear.

It is time to restore trust in government oversight of the pharmaceutical industry by using the best available science and technology to drive FDA and CDC investigations of possible vaccine side effects.  

With a significant portion of the stimulus package already dedicated to Healthcare Information Technology, we urge you to harness American innovation and talent to fix the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting process. The new database should extend to all unexplained or undiagnosed illnesses and deaths that might be caused by vaccines.

Change the dinosaur database now.

 

We the undersigned urge you to harness American innovation and talent to fix the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting process.

As the Obama Administration has appropriately emphasized, technology has the power to add enormous efficiency and quality to American Healthcare.

The federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is intended, in part, to serve this purpose. VAERS collects information about adverse events (possible side effects) that occur after the administration of US-licensed vaccines.

Unfortunately, VAERS relies on voluntary reporting by self-informed patients, busy doctors and other health-care providers, who are often unfamiliar with the system. The forms are hard to fill out, and the database is archaic in design. Thus, it is no surprise that the accuracy of VAERS data is questionable.

Worse yet, once a case has been reported,the mechanisms to track and monitor what happens next are not always efficient or accurate. Initial symptoms might be benign; later ones, horrific.

The system we are all relying on does not work.

Vaccines save millions of lives. We have all but eradicated polio and measles in the developing world. However, that does not mean that every vaccine that comes to market is perfect. Adverse side effects do happen. Without trustworthy data about those side effects, anecdotal reports can spread panic and fear.

It is time to restore trust in government oversight of the pharmaceutical industry by using the best available science and technology to drive FDA and CDC investigations of possible vaccine side effects.

With a significant portion of the stimulus package already dedicated to Healthcare Information Technology, we urge you to harness American innovation and talent to fix the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting process. The new database should extend to all unexplained or undiagnosed illnesses and deaths that might be caused by vaccines.

Change the dinosaur database now.
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