Report a side effect to a vaccine: consumers
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Everyone who witnesses or experiences a side effect to a vaccine is strongly encouraged to report it. Ask your health care provider (for example, doctor, nurse or pharmacist) to:
- complete an adverse events following immunization (AEFI) form
- submit it on your behalf to your local public health unit
Learn more about reporting adverse events following an immunization.
What are vaccines
Vaccines are products that produce immunity to a specific disease. Most vaccines are given by injection (needle) but some are given orally (by mouth) or nasally (sprayed into the nose).
They protect people against serious and potentially deadly diseases, such as diphtheria, measles, polio and tetanus.
Tracking adverse events following immunization
Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) share the monitoring of the safety of vaccines in Canada.
PHAC manages the Canadian Adverse Events Following Immunization Surveillance System (CAEFISS). This post-market vaccine safety surveillance system collects CAEFISS reports submitted by public health authorities in provinces and territories, which in turn receive them from local public health units. Nurses, doctors or pharmacists who provide immunizations or care for people who experience an adverse event from a vaccine generate most of these reports.
Once aware, manufacturers (market authorization holders) of all drugs, including vaccines, must report:
- serious adverse reactions in Canada
- unexpected serious adverse reactions in other countries
- unusual failures in efficacy for new drugs in Canada
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