The U.S. currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history. Vaccines are heavily regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and undergo years of extensive testing before reaching the public. Several systems monitor the safety of vaccines once they have been licensed and are in use. These include but are not limited to:
Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS): a national vaccine safety surveillance program co-sponsored by the CDC and the FDA. Through VAERS, health care professionals, patients, and vaccine manufacturers can submit reports about adverse events experienced after vaccination.
Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD): a collaboration between the CDC and nine major healthcare organizations that uses electronic health data from each organization to help determine if side effects reported on VAERS are directly related to vaccination.
The FDA continually inspects vaccine manufacturing facilities to ensure vaccines are produced according to strict safety standards.
Vaccine safety resources
General vaccine safety
- Plain Talk About Childhood Immunizations, Public Health - Seattle & King County and Snohomish County Health District
- Clear Answers & Smart Advice About Your Baby's Shots, Ari Brown, MD, FAAP (PDF)
- Vaccine safety, CDC
- Evaluating Immunization Information on the web, CDC
- Reporting Adverse Reactions to Vaccines through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
Autism and vaccines
- Responding to Vaccine-Hesitant Parents, Public Health - Seattle & King County
- Vaccines and Autism: What you should know, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
- Evidence Shows Vaccines Unrelated to Autism, Immunization Action Coalition (PDF)
Ingredients in vaccines
- Ingredients of Vaccines - Fact Sheet, CDC
- Thimerosol in Vaccines, Institute for Vaccine Safety, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Multiple vaccinations and immune system
- Frequently Asked Questions About Multiple Vaccinations and the Immune System, CDC
- Too Many Vaccines? What you should know, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Religious and ethical considerations