For her efforts to report injuries to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) and to educate others in her hospital system on doing the same, Physician Assistant Deborah Conrad said she was labeled an anti-vaxxer and fired from her job.
Today, the New York-based Conrad tells her story at medical freedom conferences throughout the country, the most recent being one in Mississippi where physicians, scientists, and the vaccine injured warned state lawmakers to pull the COVID-19 vaccines from the market.
Conrad told The Epoch Times she began to see early danger signals in 2021 upon the vaccine rollout, and with that, resistance among her colleagues to report on them.
“After the vaccines came out, there was this uptick in unusual symptoms, some of which I had never seen in my 20-year career,” Conrad said. “In every case, it was in somebody who had received the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Conrad said she had never admitted an adult patient with RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) until the COVID-19 vaccines.
“And every patient who came in with RSV was vaccinated for COVID,” Conrad said. “It wasn’t normal.”
Then, there were the adolescents with no previous medical conditions who had gotten the COVID-19 vaccine a week prior and, suddenly, they were struck with pneumonia and not able to function, she said.
“They weren’t able to walk or eat, and they were completely and totally fatigued,” Conrad said.
This was in 2021 before myocarditis was being discussed, so many of those early cases that were probably myocarditis were diagnosed as pneumonia, she said.
“A lot of these myocarditis cases came in with fevers because of this massive inflammatory response that was taking place in the body, so they would be labeled as septic, treated as if we were treating pneumonia or fevers of unknown origin,” Conrad said. “We’d treat them with antibiotics and all sorts of other things, not realizing that they were having heart failure.”
Conrad began reporting to VAERS, which she said was an overwhelming task not made easy by its multiple user-interface complications.
“My entire life had been taken over by doing these VAERS reports by myself,” she said.
In meetings with leadership, she would propose implementing a reporting system and hiring someone to manage the reports, she said.
‘A Hostile Environment’
“They kept telling me we’re looking into it and we’ll get back to you,” Conrad said. “Around April 2021, leadership came back and said no one else is reporting injuries—implying that I was crazy and there was nothing really going on with the vaccines.”
Leadership then audited her reports, she said and concluded that she was overreporting.
“I was then told that by doing VAERS reports and even discussing VAERS that it was an admission that the vaccines were unsafe, so it’s contributing to vaccine hesitancy,” Conrad said.
From there, it became a “very hostile environment” that compelled her to seek legal counsel, who wrote letters to the Department of Health, the CDC, and the FDA.
“No one cared,” Conrad said. “Finally, I had had it. It was so unethical; I couldn’t take it anymore. These VAERS reports are critical to assuring these vaccines are safe for us all. I could no longer be a part of a system that is lying to the American people.”
Conrad decided to become a whistleblower, telling her story on Del Bigtree’s The Highwire, knowing, she said, that it would cost her job.
“I couldn’t remain silent, even if it meant losing my career and everything I worked for,” she said. “I was fired a few weeks later and walked out like a criminal in front of all my peers.”
The initiative and education she had brought forth to report to VAERS were squashed that day, she said.
National Vaccine Injury Act of 1986
According to Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), under the National Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, it’s a federal requirement for health care workers to report vaccine-related adverse events to VAERS.
Fisher, whose son was harmed by the DTP vaccine in 1980, worked with other parents of vaccine-injured children in establishing the NVIC in 1982.
“The 1986 Act was driven by parents of DPT vaccine injured children asking the government to pass legislation to secure vaccine safety informing, recording, reporting, and research provisions in the vaccination system to make it safer, and to create a federal compensation system alternative to a lawsuit against manufacturers of vaccines that injure or kill children,” Fisher told The Epoch Times.
In addition to NVIC arguing that physicians and vaccine manufacturers should be giving informed consent and report injuries, the organization maintained they should also continue to be held accountable in a civil court to serve as an incentive for physicians to administer vaccines responsibly, for manufacturers to produce safer vaccines, and for adequate federal compensation to vaccine-injured children.
“The vaccine manufacturers responded to our call for federal legislation reforming the vaccination system by threatening to leave the US without childhood vaccines unless the government gave them a blanket liability shield for harm caused by vaccines, arguing that if the FDA licensed a childhood vaccine as ‘safe,’ and the CDC recommended the vaccine for universal use by all children, and the states mandated the vaccine for daycare and school entry, then the vaccine manufacturer should not be held liable for harm caused by the product,” Fisher said.
When the Act passed, physicians were still liable for medical malpractice claims and pharmaceutical companies remained liable for product design defect claims in civil court, Fisher said.
“Unfortunately, the 1986 Act looks nothing today like when it was passed in 1986,” Fisher said. “In 1987, Congress passed an amendment to give a liability shield to doctors and vaccine providers. Over the next decades, amendments were added that weakened or eliminated safety provisions and the ability of children to receive federal compensation.”
In 1990, VAERS was launched; however, Fisher said, there are no legal consequences for a doctor’s failure to file a report.
“That’s because Congress made it a federal requirement in the 1986 Act to report but did not include legal penalties when vaccine companies or vaccine providers fail to report,” Fisher wrote.
‘A Prescription for Tyranny’
In 2011, amid hundreds of lawsuits linking autism to vaccine injuries, Fisher said the U.S. Supreme Court ignored the legislative language and reasons for the 1986 Act when it shielded vaccine manufacturers from all civil liability for vaccine injuries and deaths.
The federal government had sided with Big Pharma, Fisher said.
“At this point, those of us who worked on the 1986 Act with Congress know that our trust was betrayed by politicians who made backroom deals with drug companies, medical trade organizations, and federal agencies to gut the Act after it was passed and give the pharmaceutical industry what it wanted in 1986 and could not get: a complete liability shield for vaccine injuries and deaths,” Fisher said.
The 2011 case—Bruesewitz v. Wyeth—centered around the parents of Hanna Bruesewitz, who alleged their daughter’s neurological problems were caused by a vaccine made by Wyeth, which was a Pennsylvania pharmaceutical company before it consolidated with Pfizer.
The 1986 Act established a vaccine court to confirm vaccine injuries and award damages. After losing in the vaccine court, the Bruesewitz family brought the case to the highest court.
Marcia Coyle with The National Law Journal told PBS NewsHour in 2011 that there were only eight Justices presiding over the case because Justice Elena Kagan had recused herself due to her involvement as Solicitor General of the United States representing the federal government on the case.
“The Obama administration is supporting Wyeth laboratories saying that this lawsuit is barred,” Coyle said. “So, there are eight Justices. There could have been seven. The Chief Justice [John Roberts] had recused himself in the initial stages because he owns stock in Wyeth and he sold the stock in order to participate now.”
The pharmaceutical companies’ entanglement with federal officials wasn’t what Fisher said she would call an example of public health.
In a 2011 commentary on the ruling, she said, “This is exploitation of a captive people by a pharmaceutical industry seeking unlimited profits and by doctors and physicians of authority who have never seen a vaccine they did not want to mandate. It is a drug company stockholder’s dream, a health care consumer’s worst nightmare, and prescription for tyranny.”
In the wake of the decision, the 1986 Act seemed to lose its relevance, and the importance of reporting to VAERS became downplayed. Allegations that vaccines caused autism were ridiculed in pop culture’s media campaigns such as magicians Penn and Teller widely shared video promoting the vaccines and shutting down those who questioned their safety while ignoring what groups like NVIC were initially calling for: not the eradication of vaccines but safer vaccines with no mandates.
In retrospect, Fisher said, “Had the Supreme Court upheld the spirit and intent of the Act as originally passed in 1986, we may have been able to hold mRNA COVID vaccine manufacturers liable for design defect in a civil court of law today.”
The COVID-19 vaccines were issued under emergency use authorization, which grants the manufacturers immunity from liability.
‘The Whole System Is Corrupt’
Conrad herself said in her education as a physician’s assistant she never trained to even acknowledge VAERS or adverse events.
“When it came to learning about the vaccines, we learned the basic immunology associated with the vaccines and the adult and childhood schedule, but there’s no discussion on their side effects,” Conrad said. “We go into practice with the idea that vaccines are safe and effective. I never considered otherwise until COVID-19 happened.”
Among the insights the pandemic delivered has been that the unethical relationship between federal officials and the pharmaceutical-industrial complex has been going on much longer than many realize, Conrad said.
“This whole system is corrupt,” Conrad said. “The light in this whole experience for me is that now I’m aware of how deep the lies and corruption really are.”