About 30 people are working on monitoring data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed to The Epoch Times.
The disclosure came in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
CDC WorkersApproximately nine full-time CDC workers are on the VAERS team, which is led by Dr. John Su, the CDC told The Epoch Times in a letter. Another 20 contractors are on the team.
The staffing numbers vary "depending on the agency needs and has been larger and smaller in the past," the team said in a statement conveyed through the CDC's records office.
The Epoch Times asked for all documents concerning the creation of the team and two associated efforts, which focus on post-vaccination heart inflammation, or myocarditis, and blood clotting with low blood platelets, or thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS)—two known serious side effects for COVID-19 vaccines.
That included all materials outlining the mission for each team, documents sent for recruiting purposes, and the number of employees on each team.
The CDC provided no materials about the mission for each team. It said the VAERS team "is understood to mean the team tasked with administering and monitoring VAERS" and pointed to the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which led to the establishment of VAERS in 1990.
The teams focusing on heart inflammation and blood clotting "are basically ad hoc groups that are formed to address needs but are not part of any formal organizational structure," the CDC said, adding that the sizes of the groups "have varied between approximately 2 to over 20, depending on workload."
RecruitmentThe only actual document provided was a four-page recruitment missive sent in November 2020 to members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which includes more than 6,500 employees of the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, and other agencies.
The VAERS team asked for workers "with clinical backgrounds," including expertise in medicine, dentistry, and veterinary services.
Potential members were told that controlling the COVID-19 pandemic "hinge[s] upon safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines" and that the vaccines were expected to be available soon.
"As more people receive COVID-19 vaccines, side effects or 'adverse events' will occur. The VAERS Team will monitor adverse events reported after COVID-19 vaccines for unusual adverse events or patterns of reporting that might indicate the need for further safety analysis. For selected adverse events, medical record abstraction will be performed to learn more about the reported patient, Additionally, the VAERS Team will respond to public inquiries about COVID-19 vaccine safety- including from healthcare providers. The VAERS Team will coordinate with CDC's Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project on particularly complex and/or medically urgent inquiries," the missive said.
It told prospective applicants that the work "offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, and to learn about COVID-19 vaccines."
Knowledge of and experience with vaccine safety was not required, nor was a background in infectious diseases.