Yellow CARD analysis
Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.
Our analysis of the Medical & Healthcare products Regulation Agency (MHRA) Yellow Card Scheme for COVID-19 vaccines uses the publicly available weekly reports that are released by the MHRA. Regrettably, the MHRA overwrites the report each week, so the only download available to the general public at any given time is the summary at that particular point. Without access to preceding reports, the snapshot their document provides allows for little analysis.
Fortunately, we have managed to obtain copies of every weekly report going back to the start of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and have therefore been able to build a more detailed picture of how adverse reactions have developed over time.
The MHRA does a weekly “cut off” of data but then takes several days to make the summary report available on its website. So at times we can be looking at information that is two weeks out of date. Given that millions are receiving vaccines each week, we are concerned that this time lag introduces additional risk as well as restricting the ability of an individual to make a truly informed decision about having the vaccine based on up to date risk information.
We are also hampered by incomplete data so have deliberately held back from drawing conclusions based on the data we have. Instead, we aim to provide insights into what we do know so that we, and you, can ask more meaningful questions of the MHRA, the government, vaccine manufacturers – and your own healthcare providers.
What We Do Know
What We Don't Know
Cause for Concern
As we began our first look at the week by week data, it came to our attention that Dr Tess Lawrie (MBBCh, PhD), of the Evidence-based Medicine Consultancy, was about to undertake a similar task. We therefore reached out and agreed that we would pool our technical skills and her medical expertise to better understand and analyse the data.
An important discovery was that similar conditions had been classified in many different ways. Dr Lawrie’s medical knowledge helped us to better group similar conditions together. Once we did that, it became clear that there were far higher incidences of some reactions than a cursory glance of the MHRA report would suggest.
Dr Lawrie was so concerned about what she saw that she immediately presented the findings in an open letter to Dr June Raine, Chief Executive of the MHRA. As well as presenting the findings, the letter also called for an immediate halt of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout until more detailed analysis of the Yellow Card data can be carried out.
With the rollout continuing, Dr Lawrie sent a follow up letter in September 2021 highlighting even more concerns, particularly that the suspected deaths per million doses was 28 times higher than for the flu vaccines.
Yellow Card Summary to 29th June 2022
|Rollout Start Date||08/12/20||04/01/21||07/04/21||n/a||n/a|
|First Doses Administered||27.0 million||24.9 million||1.7 million||n/a||53.6 million|
|Second Doses Administered||24.5 million||24.1 million||1.5 million||n/a||50.1 million|
|Boosters Administered||40.0 million||40.0 million|
New reactions this week = 2,670
New deaths this week = 16
How The Brands Compare
Due to the way MHRA reports booster doses without a breakdown between the brands used, there is a growing disconnect between brand dosage numbers and adverse reactions. While booster doses are shown under "Unspecified", the likelihood is that people reporting a reaction are specifying which brand they received. It is therefore increasingly difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions. We still await an explanation as to why MHRA are not reporting booster doses by brand in the same way they report first and second doses.
Top 20 Adverse Reactions
|wdt_ID||Condition||No of Reactions||No of Deaths|
|7||Pain in extremity||41,956||2|
Top 20 Causes of Death
|wdt_ID||Condition||No of Deaths|
|1||Death (no further information available)||564|
REACTIONS & DEATHS BY TYPE (SOC)
|wdt_ID||Type of Reaction (System of Care)||Reactions||Deaths|
|10||Immune system disorders||6,699||8|