All vaccines used in the United States are required to go through years of extensive safety testing before they are licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) work with healthcare providers throughout the US to monitor the safety of vaccines, including for any adverse events, especially rare events not identified in pre-licensure study trials. There are currently three systems used to monitor the safety of vaccines after they are licensed and being used in the US. These systems can monitor side effects already known to be caused by vaccines as well as detect rare side effects that were not identified during a vaccine’s clinical trials.
One of the three systems used to monitor the safety of vaccines after they are licensed and used in the US is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS accepts reports from health professionals, vaccine manufacturers, and the general public and receives about 28,000 US reports per year, compared with millions of vaccine doses given to adults.
Information from the CDC
If you choose to delay some vaccines or reject some vaccines entirely, there can be risks. Follow these steps from the CDC to protect your child, your family, and others.
Childhood Influenza Immunization Coaltion (CIIC) FAQs
Institute of Medicine (IOM)
Questions and Answers from the CDC
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) are information sheets produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They are given to all vaccine recipients and explain both the benefits and risks of a vaccine.
American Medical Association
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
4733 Bethesda Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
T: (301) 656-0003 | F: (301) 907-0878