How to: Go to the Source

My advice to stay up-to-date on what’s happening concerning informed consent matters is to always go straight to the source. Unfortunately, the media has failed time and again to properly report critical pieces of information from .gov agencies. Here are some simple ways to know exactly what is being announced.

Sign up for press announcements

The CDC + FDA have email subscriber lists that you can sign up for to receive emails about any new announcements. To sign up for each, click on the below links and scroll until you see the subscribe box. Enter your email and then select the kind of updates you’d like to receive. Make sure to check your spam/promotion folders if you don’t see any updates within two weeks. Both tend to send overview emails on Friday’s.

FDA Press Announcements

CDC Press Announcements

Find the source documents on .gov websites

Too many times news articles leave out sections of source documents. If you come across an announcement, always find the source document to read exactly what is being said.

Depending on the announcement, you can search whatever the topic is with “.gov” in the search box and it’ll most likely pop up. For example, if there is an announcement about boosters, I personally would search “covid vaccine boosters .gov” in my preferred search engine and look for the .gov links in the results.

Note about search engines: I’ve had issues with Google and suggest trying either Brave or Duck Duck Go to receive neutral search results. You should be able to update either search engine as your default depending on your browser/computer. Here are some source documents that you’ll likely reference while researching Covid-19 prevention/treatment products.

Current FDA Emergency Use Authorizations/Approvals, Fact Sheets, and Inserts

The FDA has an exhaustive webpage all about EUAs. Click on this link to not only read about EUAs, but also research all the current EUAs. To jump to an EUA section, click either “vaccines,” “drugs and biological therapeutic products,” or “medical devices” within the box referenced below.

It’ll automatically scroll to that section on the webpage. For example, if you wanted to research about the Covid-19 vaccines that the FDA have granted Emergency Use Authorization, scroll to this section for all source documents.

I highly suggest reading the Fact Sheet intended for Healthcare Providers (top right link on the above referenced box). It has more information than the Fact Sheet intended for Recipients and Caregivers.

Another way to find the Fact Sheets for Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Moderna, and Pfizer is to search “FDA covid vaccines” in your search engine. Click on the first .gov link or click here. Find the box referenced below and click on which product you’d like to research. You’ll find the same source documents that were listed on the FDA’s EUA webpage.

To find the FDA Manufacturer Insert for Comirnaty, click on the first link in the box and click on the “package insert” link.

Hopefully these simple steps will help keep you updated on current + accurate information and fuel fact-based discussion.

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