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VAERS and Vaccine Safety: How it Works

Updated: Apr 9, 2022

VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System is a safety monitoring system that studies reports of possible health problems. Also called “adverse events” after vaccination to make sure every vaccine is as safe as possible.





COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have many safety monitoring systems to make sure every vaccine is as safe as possible. One of these systems is VAERS - the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. VAERS accepts reports from anyone: patients, parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are required to report certain adverse events after vaccination.


VAERS studies reports of possible health problems, also called “adverse events” after vaccination.


VAERS can’t prove a vaccine caused a problem, but it acts as an early warning system to help CDC and FDA decide whether a potential safety issue exists. VAERS reports patterns that warn scientists of possible health problems that might need more study. Vaccine safety experts look for unusually high numbers of health problems, or a pattern of problems, after people get a particular vaccine. It is normal that there will be some reports of health problems after people get a vaccination.


However, most health problems found shortly after vaccination were not actually caused by the vaccine.


CDC closely monitors ALL data, including reports to VAERS, to make sure all vaccines are as safe as possible. CDC and FDA use other vaccine safety systems to figure out if the health problem is caused by the vaccine, or not. If it looks like a vaccine might be causing a problem, CDC and FDA will alert the public, investigate further, and take action. If you want to learn more about VAERS, visit: vaers.hhs.gov





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