Bias Rating: RIGHT
Factual Reporting: MIXED
Media Type: Website
Traffic/Popularity: Medium Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: MEDIUM CREDIBILITY
Founded in January 2021, OpenVaers is a website that searches the US Government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database. According to their FAQ page, “We do not change, modify or vet data. We take the downloads, upload them to our server and put a different face on them, so they are easier to browse and get quick, accurate info from.” The website lacks transparency as they do not name authors or owners or disclose the location.
Funded by / Ownership
Ownership is not disclosed on the website; however, the FAQ page states, “OpenVAERS is a project developed by a small team of people with vaccine injuries or have children with vaccine injuries. We do not accept donations or solicit fees. There is zero monetization of this site.”
Established in 1990, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national early warning system to detect possible safety problems in U.S.-licensed vaccines. VAERS is co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The main purpose is to detect new, unusual, or rare vaccine adverse events.
The VAERS website disclaims that “anyone can report an adverse event to VAERS” and that content is not vetted before being made public; therefore, there is likely a significant amount of misinformation published. We also highly recommend this article Understanding causality in adverse events after vaccination as a way to understand why VAERS does not prove causality and why the numbers should not be taken literally.
While the website does not alter information obtained from VAERS, they publish numbers on Covid-19 that may be misleading as these stats are not vetted and most likely are not accurate. For example, they list Covid Vaccine Deaths as over 11K as of today. They also list over 1000 miscarriages and close to 5000 heart attacks. This data may have been entered into VAERS, but there is zero evidence to support the validity of these claims.
The OpenVAERS website also features a blog with a right-leaning bias that promotes vaccine hesitation. For example, in this article OpenVAERS Call to Action written by the anonymous “The Arkivist,” they state, “The mainstream narrative completely fell apart this week. In spite of an aggressive propaganda campaign by the Biden White House, it is now clear that coronavirus “vaccines” do not stop infection, transmission, nor hospitalizations and deaths in the vaccinated.” Further, in this blog post, they take the literal VAERS numbers to promote misinformation such as this “these shots have produced four times more fatalities than the terrorist attacks on 9/11.” At this point, there is little evidence anyone has died as a direct result of the vaccine.
In general, OpenVAERS does not alter data from the VAERS database; however, they do take the numbers literally and often come to false or misleading conclusions that cannot be proven.
Failed Fact Checks
- They have not been fact-checked, but misinformation is frequently published on VAERS.
Overall, we rate OpenVAERS Right Biased based on editorial positions that advocate for conservative vaccine hesitancy. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting based on taking unvetted data from VAERS literally and promoting misleading information based on the data. (D. Van Zandt 8/3/2021) Updated (10/07/2022)
Last Updated on October 7, 2022 by Media Bias Fact Check