Covid vaccine maker Moderna received 300,000 reports of side effects after vaccinations over a three-month period following the launch of its shot, according to an internal report from a company that helps Moderna manage the reports.
That figure is far higher than the number of side effect reports about Moderna’s vaccine publicly available in the federal system that tracks such adverse events.
Vaccine manufacturers like Moderna are legally required to forward all side effect reports they receive to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, where they are made public each week.
Run by the Centers for Disease Control and Food & Drug Administration, the VAERS system is crucial to tracking potential problems with vaccines. It helped scientists determine the Covid vaccines may cause heart problems in young adults.
The reason for the gap is not clear. Moderna may simply still be processing the reports, though the number of reports about Moderna’s vaccine in VAERS from the first half of 2021 remained almost flat this week.
Moderna and IQVIA, the company that works with Moderna to handle the reports, did not return emails for comment.
The 300,000 figure comes from an internal update provided to employees by IQVIA, a little-known but enormous company that helps drugmakers manage clinical trials. Headquartered in North Carolina, IQVIA has 74,000 employees worldwide and had $11 billion in sales last year.
Earlier this week, Richard Staub, the president of IQVIA’s Research & Development Solutions division, sent a “Q2 2021 update” which was labeled “Confidential – For internal distribution only.”
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