Pharmacovigilance is the observation and monitoring of possible harms from exposure to a variety of pharmaceuticals, biologics and devices. In this blog, Professor of Evidence-based Medicine Carl Heneghan and Clinical Epidemiologist Tom Jefferson talk about a recent attempt to obtain data on the incidence of deaths following Covid-19 vaccination from the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) through a Freedom of Information request. They describe how the MHRA initially said they were unable to provide the information as it would cost too much to extract, and after sending a follow up request to the MHRA's Chief Safety Officer, they have not heard anything further after an initial promise to investigate. They argue that the MHRA is failing the public by failing to investigate the side effects of Covid vaccines using information from Yellow Card reports.
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