The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national early warning system that is designed to detect possible safety problems in vaccines. The system is co-managed by the CDC and FDA and is designed to accept and analyze reports of adverse events following vaccination.
While VAERS is not intended to detect if a vaccine actually caused an adverse event, it can identify unusual or unexpected patterns of reporting that could indicate potential safety problems. Each report provides valuable information that will ultimately be added to the VAERS database. As VAERS serves as an early warning system to detect safety problems in U.S. vaccines – accurate, complete, and timely reporting of a post-vaccination health issue is recommended, as it provides important information for vaccine safety monitoring and research.
VAERS is not part of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) and reporting an adverse event does not constitute filing a claim with the VICP, but it is confidential. Thus, anyone who’s experienced an adverse effect as the result of a vaccination should report it to VAERS. While it’s not required under the VICP, it can assist in better understanding the known potential complications of vaccines and serve a crucial role in maintaining vaccine safety.