COVID-19 Vaccine Safety

Vaccine safety is very important to the Maine Immunization Program and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 Vaccine Providers can find COVID-19 Vaccine safety information here.


Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System

An "adverse event following immunization" is an adverse health problem or condition that happens after vaccination (i.e., a temporally associated event). It might be truly caused by the vaccine or it might be purely coincidental and not related to vaccination. CDC continuously monitors the safety of vaccines given to children and adults in the United States. VAERS, co-administered by CDC and FDA, is the national frontline monitoring system for vaccine safety.

VAERS is a national early warning system to detect possible safety problems with vaccines. Anyone – a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or any member of the general public – can submit a report to VAERS.

The main goal of VAERS are to:

  • Detect new, unusual or rare adverse events that happen after vaccination
  • Monitor for increases in known side effects
  • Identify potential patient risk factors for particular types of health problems related to vaccines
  • Assess the safety of newly licensed vaccines
  • Detect unexpected or unusual patterns in adverse event reports

Per the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement, COVID-19 vaccination providers are required to report adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination and should report clinically important adverse events even if they are not sure if the vaccination caused the event.