'Correlation doesn’t equal causation'


by Shawn Siegel

Vaccination Council

– OCTOBER 19, 2013

There are 8,000 different adverse vaccine reactions listed in the complete CDC’s VAERS database. (1) The majority of them are what we would expect; nausea, swelling at the injection site, crying, fever, and the like. Though such reactions are universally characterized as normal by the medical community, they are not . They may be typical vaccine reactions, but they’re the body’s response to the noxious ingredients; they’re not normal. In most folks, a temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is normal; fever is not. A limber arm is normal; one pained by a hot, hardened lump, the result of aggregated aluminum from a vaccine adjuvant, is not. (2) Moreover, though vaccine reactions vary in severity, a reaction at any level is often a harbinger of more severe reactions to subsequent vaccinations.

The industry describes serious vaccine reactions as rare, but a continuing look at the VAERS statistics proves not only that vaccines aren’t safe, but that serious, sometimes catastrophic injuries aren’t rare at all – they are peppered in and among the most often reported reactions. The following is a list of serious vaccine injuries that appear among the top 5%, listed in the order of frequency of reporting – convulsion, for instance, is reported 13,281 times, viral infection 4,708 times, autism 2,307, and so on. Though some of them are more closely associated with specific vaccines, every vaccine has been reported in relation to serious adverse reactions, including death:

Convulsion; infection; herpes zoster; loss of consciousness; viral infection.

Febrile convulsion; influenza; Guillain-Barre Syndrome; pneumonia; otitis media; autism; asthma; varicella; unresponsive to stimuli; speech disorder.

Death; intussusception; anaphylactic reaction; grand mal convulsion; upper respiratory tract infection; paralysis; SIDS; bacterial infection; meningitis.

Coma; osteoarthritis; encephalitis; bronchitis; respiratory disorder; multiple sclerosis; gastrointestinal disorder.

Lung disorder; abortion spontaneous; cardiac arrest; hepatic function abnormal; hemorrhage; respiratory arrest; jaundice; skin disorder; immune system disorder; hepatitis; epilepsy; rheumatoid arthritis.

How telling the revelation, of so many serious reactions contained in the top 5%, but there are other critical factors to consider, which bear heavily on the impact of the VAERS data. There’s the inappropriate use of the mantra – correlation isn’t causation – to assuage parental concerns over the existence of VAERS reports. There are also findings that make it evident that the real number of serious vaccine injuries is far, far greater than reflected in the database. These realities are well known to the controllers of the vaccine industry – government, the manufacturers, many in the medical establishment and to any mainstream journalists who would take the time to research and report honestly to the public they claim to serve – but so omitted from any public discussion, as to be criminal.

I’ll focus on death, the most final vaccine “side effect”, to make the point. As an exclusive search in the database, there are over 5,000 reports of death following vaccination. The – correlation doesn’t equal causation – argument is often made, to convince parents that reports of serious vaccine injury can in essence be discounted. The argument is not only specious, but highly unethical when stated by public health officials and doctors, whose bully pulpit of societal standing gives them great influence – and even greater responsibility. The VAERS records reflect a correlation, which both by common sense and definition – a relationship not expected to exist on the basis of chance alone – demands sober consideration. The causal relationship is implied in the correlation, and cannot be discounted without proof of other cause, but never is any such proof offered. Yet, our public servants ask us to discount the substantial evidence that to vaccinate our kids is to subject them to the real possibility of diabetes, learning disorder, epilepsy – and death. We demand they be straightforward in their reportage, admit the historical record, admit the nature of the VAERS correlation and its implications, and remove themselves as virtual obstacles to our informed vaccine decisions.

There is also documented research corroborating what would be reasonably expected to be the accuracy of the VAERS correlation. To wit, the following conclusion, from a study entitled: Evaluation of Spontaneous Reports of Adverse Reactions to Drugs, the only such study of which I am aware (4):

“An adverse drug-reaction monitoring system based on spontaneous reporting to a central register of adverse reactions has been in operation for eight years. As a test of the validity of the reports and of the probability of causal relationship between drug and reaction a random sample of 82 cases were followed up in detail. The sample included 17 deaths, 26 serious reactions, and 39 reactions of moderate or only minor severity. Altogether 78% of the reactions were considered to be “probably” drug related and 13% “possibly” drug related. It is concluded that the reports are of value in the detection and evaluation of drug safety.”

Obviously, after thorough investigation only 9% of the reports were considered to be definitively not causally related to the drugs – which, in the case of VAERS, would be to the vaccines. And, in response to those who routinely claim that VAERS reports are not to be trusted simply because so many are bogus, submitted by disgruntled parents, or attorneys seeking unwarranted compensation from the vaccine court, this, from Health and Human Services (5):

“The majority of VAERS reports are sent in by vaccine manufacturers (37%) and health care providers (36%). The remaining reports are obtained from state immunization programs (10%), vaccine recipients (or their parent/guardians, 7%) and other sources (10%).”

By extrapolating to the recorded VAERS deaths, we can reasonably assume that 3,900 of the reported 5,000, or 78%, are “probably” causally related to the vaccines. But in reality, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Back when NVICA and VAERS were on the drawing board, JAMA published a study finding that hospitals were reporting to the FDA only about 1% of serious drug-related events – that is, suspected reactions. (6) There is no substantial reason to expect that a higher percentage of actual serious vaccine reactions ever get reported, and while it is obviously impossible to truly accurately assess how much you don’t know, the evidence from scores of parental anecdotes of vaccine damage, and subsequent visits to, typically, many doctors, including specialists, confirms that very few reactions are even acknowledged, let alone reported.

We, the parents, grandparents, friends and relatives of kids we’re being universally urged to vaccinate, can be confident that the 3,900 vaccine deaths will translate in reality to many more, but have no idea whether that number, over the twenty-five years of the VAERS database, will be 39,000 or 390,000. We are confounded by the fact that the great majority of them are reported as caused by something other than vaccines.

This is just a suggestion of the outrage. Reports of life-threatening vaccine reactions are more numerous than reported deaths, and permanent disabilities outnumber life-threatening reactions. The number of reported vaccine-induced trips to the ER, over 150,000, is potentially staggering when you consider the almost resigned reluctance on the part of doctors to admit, acknowledge, or report vaccine-related incidents.

So yes, VAERS reports are of value in the detection and evaluation of vaccine safety. Once you arrange the events in order of the frequency of the reports, hidden in plain sight at the top of the list, among the less serious reactions, are convulsions, infections, autism, asthma, death, anaphylaxis, SIDS, meningitis, encephalitis, cardiac and respiratory arrest, immune system disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, and many more – while the industry continues on a daily expanding basis to characterize vaccines as safe and effective, and serious adverse reactions as rare.

The issue of trust is so thick as to be choking. You can’t eliminate risk from life, but the risk of serious damage from vaccines far outweighs the risk of damage from disease, when disease is well managed by parents and doctors who are adequately informed on nutrition, vitamin therapy and other natural treatments.

About the author: Shawn Siegel has enough common sense to recognize a con game when he sees one, thus was compelled to begin researching after discovering that immediately following the release of the polio vaccine the CDC radically changed the definition of the disease. He now hosts a weekly radio/internet show, The Vaccine Myth: An Issue of Trust, on the Logos Radio Network. – See more at: http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2013/09/19/disinformed-consent-by-shawn-siegel/#sthash.N0EPS1KS.dpuf

1. VAERS will accessible again when the federal shutdown is over. The URL starting point: http://wonder.cdc.gov/vaers.html
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC500782/
3. From the following case: “Within one day [of the DTaP vaccination], he developed a fever, which led to a complex febrile seizure. Subsequently, [the child] developed epilepsy. This fact pattern is commonly seen in the Vaccine Program.” Parents, then, should be duly informed about the “fact pattern”.


4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1788654/
5. http://vaers.hhs.gov/about/faqs#who_reports
6. http://www.omsj.org/reports/JAMA-KesslerMedWatch.pdf