COVID-19: Vaccine safety post-market surveillance

With described video



The following animated video uses colourful illustrations to represent people and things. In some portions, the narrators words appear as text on screen.

A street with stores, people walking on the sidewalks, and cars on the street fades in and then out.

Narration: How do we know vaccines are safe?

A COVID-19 vaccine vial and a syringe appears.

Narration: Canada has several systems in place to monitor the safety and effectiveness of vaccines starting in the early development stage and continuing for as long as the vaccines are in use.

A magnifying glass appears on screen highlighting the vial.

Narration: First, scientists look for safety issues during the testing phase while vaccines are developed.

Syringes representing vaccines appear on screen one after the other. Check marks appear beside those are approved and Xs beside those that are rejected.

Narration: During this stage, Health Canada completes a rigorous review of the safety and effectiveness data 

The vaccines disappear from the screen and the words Safety and effectiveness appear on screen and disappear.

Narration: gathered from the clinical trials, which involve tens of thousands of volunteers around the world.

The words Stage 3 – Clinical Phase 3 appear at the top of the screen and rows of people appear on screen then fade away.

Narration: Once vaccines are developed and authorized for use,

Two scientists are working in a lab with a microscope, beakers and vaccines.

Narration: pharmaceutical companies continuously monitor their vaccines and report any side effects to Health Canada.

A man rolls up his sleeve and is injected with the vaccine while a scientist supervises.

Narration: This includes any potential safety concerns not observed during clinical trials.

Vaccine-safety reports appear on screen one by one.

Narration: In addition, the federal government works with provincial and territorial health authorities across the country to monitor safety once vaccines are distributed and to make medical experts aware of unusual post-vaccine events.  

An illustration of a map of Canada appears highlighting the provinces and territories.

Narration: The Canadian Adverse Events Following Immunization Surveillance System allows anyone to report a possible reaction to a vaccine to a health care professional who alerts the local health authority. 

Narration: Another system for monitoring vaccine safety

An illustration of a hospital and two scientists in the window appears on screen.

Narration: is Canada’s Immunization Monitoring Program ACTive or IMPACT

Narration: which tracks serious side effects related to vaccines and monitors vaccine-preventable diseases.

Narration: Through the program, specially trained nurses at 12 children’s hospitals across the country review all hospital admissions for certain serious illnesses.

An illustration of a hospital appears on screen. A child appears in a window of the hospital and another child appears in the adjacent window.  A healthcare professional appears in the window and moves across the screen from one child to the other. 

Narration: If a child with any of these illnesses recently received a vaccine, a report goes to the local health authority and the Public Health Agency of Canada for investigation.

The camera slowly zooms in to the Red Cross symbol on the hospital wall.  It disappears to reveal a series of charts and graphs.

All reports from these surveillance systems go into a national database maintained by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Regular reviews of adverse event data following immunization help the Public Health Agency of Canada more easily find and investigate vaccine safety issues.

Scientists are seen reviewing the data and their approval is confirmed with a “thumbs up” symbol and a check mark.

Narration: The goal is to identify potential safety concerns as quickly as possible take action and communicate risks to health care professionals and the public.

Narration: Get the facts. Visit to learn more.

Text on screen Get the facts appears on screen. 

Text on screen appears on screen and disappears.

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