(by Will Jones | The Daily Skeptic) – The German Government publicly acknowledged on Wednesday that the Covid vaccines cause serious side effects for one in every 5,000 doses.
A tweet from the Ministry of Health stated (via Google translate): “One in 5,000 people is affected by a serious side effect after a COVID19 #vaccination. If you suspect #sideeffects, get medical attention and report your symptoms to @PEI_Germany.” It later added a correction that the figure related to the reporting rate and to doses rather than individuals: “Correction: According to @PEI_Germany, the reporting rate for serious reactions is 0.2 reports per 1,000 vaccine doses.”
This is an unusual and welcome admission from a Government, and perhaps the beginning of governments properly acknowledging the scale of injuries caused by the novel Covid vaccines.
However, the one in 5,000 figure (the source for which is not stated) is certainly on the low side. The correction tweet clarified that it was a reporting rate of serious reactions, so perhaps it refers to the rate of adverse event reports to the German equivalent of the Yellow Card and VAERS passive reporting systems. If so, then we might expect an under-reporting factor of around 10, meaning the true number of serious side-effects may be 10 times higher.
The Germans are actually very good at monitoring vaccine safety. In addition to their passive reporting system, the German medicines regulator, the PEI, runs an active vaccine safety monitoring app called SafeVac 2.0. The data from this monitoring tool were included in a Europe-wide report on vaccine safety published last month; they showed that 0.3% of vaccine recipients in Germany reported at least one serious adverse reaction to the first dose of the vaccine. The report states:
Of the 520,076 participants from Germany who had received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 1,838 (0.3%) reported experiencing at least one serious adverse reaction. A total of 1,191 (0.2%) and 39 (0.2%) participants receiving BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna respectively reported experiencing a serious adverse reaction while 608 (0.7%) receiving AstraZeneca reported a serious reaction.