The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is the nation's early warning system that monitors the safety of vaccines after they are authorized or licensed for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). VAERS is part of the larger vaccine safety system in the United States that helps ensure that vaccines are safe. The system is co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and FDA.
VAERS accepts and analyzes reports of possible health problems - also called "adverse events" - after vaccination. As an early warning system, VAERS cannot prove that a vaccine caused a problem. Specifically, a report to VAERS does not mean that a vaccine caused an adverse event. But VAERS can give the CDC and FDA important information. If it looks as though a vaccine might be causing a problem, FDA and CDC will investigate further and take action if needed. Anyone can submit a report to VAERS - healthcare professionals, vaccine manufacturers, and the general public. VAERS welcomes all reports, regardless of seriousness, and regardless of how likely the vaccine may have been to have caused the adverse event.
Data from VAERS reports are intended to be used by trained experts to detect an unusual number of negative health outcomes in those who recently received a vaccine. These data are not intended to be used for the purpose of weighing the risks and benefits of getting vaccinated.
To look at VAERS data, you can follow these instructions (PDF). Please note this database contains information on unverified reports of adverse events. While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. Most reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. This creates specific limitations on how the data can be used scientifically. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind.