Trust Index: Look at results of CDC report on reactions to coronavirus vaccine

HOUSTON – As more and more Americans line up to get the COVID-19 vaccine, we are getting a better idea of how many are reporting side effects.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking reports of reactions to the vaccine through a smartphone app called V-Safe.

Let’s take a look at the results and how they stack up when put to KPRC 2′s Trust Index.

Voluntary system

The first thing to remember is that the V-Safe app is a voluntary system. No one that gets the vaccine is required to use the app. In fact, only about 40% of the people who have received the vaccine have actually filled out this survey. So, the results published by the CDC are only a snapshot of what is happening and not a complete study.

The numbers

The CDC report was first published Dec. 19, five days into the vaccine distribution. As of that date, more than 112,000 people had used the V-Safe app and a total of 3,150 people had reported what’s called a “health impact event” after receiving the shot. That breaks down to about 2.8% of those who filled out the app survey.

‘Health impact event’

That begs the question, what is a “health impact event?” That could be anything from a headache, to body aches, to a low-grade fever. The most serious side effect reported was anaphylaxis, which is an allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. The CDC identified only six cases of that happening as of Dec. 19.

The CDC adds that those reporting a “health impact event” were either unable to perform their normal daily activities, unable to work or required some kind of doctor’s care. However, it’s also possible that any one of those events could be completely manageable and have no impact on your daily life.

The verdict

There is one more, big limitation to this reported data. KPRC 2 Investigates discovered there doesn’t appear to be anyone actually verifying if someone submitting a report through V-Safe actually got the vaccine. Given these limitations of the report, the KPRC 2 Trust Index is rating the results of this CDC report as “be careful.”

Be Careful

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About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.