The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a record of adverse events related to vaccines. It updates the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) on a weekly basis, with new reports released every Friday.
According to VAERS data between Dec. 14 of last year and May 28 of this year, the number of vaccine-related deaths reached 5,165. This current figure was the result of 759 fatalities being added to the system over the previous week. The data also showed a total of 25,359 serious injuries reported – an increase of 3,822 compared to the week prior.
All in all, the VAERS data registered a total of 294,801 adverse events related to the COVID-19 vaccines. But the number of deaths and adverse events being reported are at historical levels – with more reported in just the last six months than the previous 20 years combined.
The VAERS website stated that one of the main limitations of its data is its inability to determine if the vaccine caused the reported adverse event. It added that this limitation "has caused confusion in the publicly available data, … specifically regarding the number of reported deaths."
Furthermore, the VAERS website mentioned that it "accepts all reports of adverse health events following vaccinations without judging whether the vaccine caused the adverse health event" – further muddling the waters. Ultimately, it acknowledged that information from a VAERS report alone is insufficient to establish a causal link between vaccines and reported fatalities. (Related: VAERS was designed from the start to UNDERCOUNT vaccine injuries and deaths, yet it's already sounding alarm bells over covid vaccine injuries and deaths.)
The federal government recently announced that it would allocate $3 billion in taxpayer funds for an ad campaign to battle vaccine hesitancy. This new budget followed an earlier $250 million educational campaign launched by federal health agencies. A Biden administration official said that the campaign would be partly funded through the latest COVID-19 stimulus bill amounting to $1.9 trillion.
The official added that the vast majority of the initial $250 million budget will be used to buy advertising space on television, radio, billboards, print and digital media – including social media. While the campaign has been already running, they said it was not yet formally launched out of concern that it would drive up demand for vaccines already in short supply. "The trickiest part of this effort from day one has been timing messaging with vaccine supply, and that magic moment is fast approaching, the official said." (Related: Biden launches $10M ad campaign to push coronavirus vaccine propaganda, alongside confusing mask contest.)
A March 2021 POLITICO report elaborated on the ad campaign. According to the report, it sought to hit two birds with one stone. First, it strived to reach Americans who have second thoughts about vaccination or do not know where to get their COVID-19 vaccine doses. Second, it aimed to combat misinformation about the effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
The federal government also partnered with two groups – the Ad Council and the Covid Collaborative project – to create public service announcements targeting vaccine hesitancy. Both entities have worked with the CDC and Department of Health and Human Services on such advertisements.
One of the fruits of their collaboration involved an ad featuring four erstwhile U.S. presidents. The ad showed former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama getting vaccinated alongside their wives. Another ad featured incumbent President Joe Biden – with much of the footage shot during his Jan. 20 inauguration.
Covid Collaborative Co-Founder John Bridgeland voiced concerns about polls showing the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy among conservatives. He said his group has sought conservative-leaning influencers willing to promote the COVID-19 vaccine. "We have to make sure this transcends politics. It can't be the mask game again. Vaccines are not political," Bridgeland continued.
According to Bridgeland, research has shown that there is already a high demand for information on the COVID-19 vaccines. Based on this, he argued in favor of promoting the vaccination effort now instead of waiting for every American to be eligible for inoculation.
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