Release the VSD Data!

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) systematic review entitled “The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies (2013)” confirmed there had been no studies of the vaccine schedule, and it called for such studies to be done.

It then tells us the most feasible way to carry out these urgently-needed studies:

The most feasible approach to studying the safety of the childhood immunization schedule is through analyses of data obtained by VSD. VSD is a collaborative effort between CDC and 9 managed care organizations that maintain a large database of linked data for monitoring immunization safety and studying potential rare and serious adverse events. VSD member sites include data for more than 9 million children and adults receiving vaccinations on a variety of immunization schedules.

The VSD (Vaccine Safety Datalink) is potentially a goldmine of data that could be decisive in the vaccine science debates, but the CDC keeps it locked up. It makes the data available only to select individuals; it is not publicly available for independent researchers to analyse.

Making anonymised VSD data available to everyone would be an easy and cheap way to enable epidemiological studies of all different vaccine schedules to be carried by anyone who has doubts about vaccine safety or efficacy and wants to verify the raw data.

Why doesn’t the CDC want independent researchers or parents to be able to compare health outcomes between populations vaccinated on different schedules or unvaccinated?