Max Daigle, president of CAERS, nearly died from the H1N1 vaccination, and is still suffering from it. He has built an adverse event monitoring system, for Canadians to voluntarily self-report. He explained the meaning of Vanessa’s Law (The “Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act” [Vanessa’s Law] amends the Food and Drugs Act. It includes new rules that strengthen the regulation of therapeutic products, and improves the reporting of adverse reactions by healthcare institutions. As well, these measures are intended to improve Health Canada’s ability to collect post-market safety information, and take appropriate action when a serious health risk is identified. The law is named after Vanessa Young, daughter of the Member of Parliament from Oakville.) He resents how injured Canadians have been marginalized and stigmatized.
CAERS has so far accumulated about a thousand reports, and the initiative is entirely run by volunteers. They lack resources to disseminate the existence of CAERS to people who might want to report, but do not know how. For now, he estimates, the reports they have are a mere tip of the iceberg. CAERS was launched nationally after December of 2021. Given the restricted resources, they have not yet been able to perform any meaningful statistical analysis of the data they have. When they receive the reports, they have no means of submitting them to Health Canada or any other governmental, regulatory body. He doubts whether a government, focused on divisive communication, would be receptive to these reports. No government agency has called CAERS out of an interest for the impacts on Canadians of products that have an accelerated/truncated path of development.
Those who have used the system have been very grateful to have someone who listens to them and cares about their situation. It is a challenge for the volunteers, who are all healthcare practitioners, and some have left because the stories have proven to be too much for them to bear.