VAERS data is accessible by downloading raw data in comma-separated value (CSV) files for import into a database, spreadsheet, or text editing program, or by using the CDC WONDER online search tool. Information provided to VAERS which identifies a person who received the vaccine or vaccines will not be made available to the public. De-identified VAERS data are available 4-6 weeks after the report is received. VAERS data change as new reports are received, so your results may change if you repeat the same search at a later date. To learn more about interpreting data see Guide to Interpreting VAERS Data.
VAERS accepts reports of adverse events and reactions that occur following vaccination. Healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the public can submit reports to the system. 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. In large part, 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.
The strengths of VAERS are that it is national in scope and can quickly provide an early warning of a safety problem with a vaccine. As part of CDC and FDA’s multi-system approach to post-licensure vaccine safety monitoring, VAERS is designed to rapidly detect unusual or unexpected patterns of adverse events, also known as “safety signals.” If a safety signal is found in VAERS, further studies can be done in safety systems such as the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) or the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) project. These systems do not have the same scientific limitations as VAERS, and can better assess health risks and possible connections between adverse events and a vaccine.
Key considerations and limitations of VAERS data:
VAERS data is available in two ways:
Search data with an easy-to-use, menu-driven tool. Produce tables, maps, charts, and data extracts of vaccine adverse events.
Download raw data for import into a database, spreadsheet, or text editing program.
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