Vaccines used in Canada are very safe. They are developed in accordance with the highest standards and are continually monitored for safety and effectiveness.
On average, it takes about 10 years of research and development before a vaccine is considered for approval by Health Canada (external link) Following approval, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (external link) recommends how the vaccine should be used.
Safety is monitored by the Public Health Agency of Canada (external link) through its Canadian Adverse Events Following Immunization Surveillance System (CAEFISS), with the assistance of public health officials and individual health care providers. IMPACT (Immunization Monitoring Program ACTive) (external link) is a paediatric hospital-based national active surveillance network for adverse events following immunization, vaccine failures and selected infectious diseases in children that are, or are soon to be, vaccine preventable.
As with any medical procedure, immunization has some risks. Individuals may react differently to vaccines. When considering immunization, both the risks and the benefits should be discussed with a qualified health care provider. The benefits of immunization are substantial and well documented.
Public Health Agency of Canada. Canadian Immunization Guide. Evergreen edition. (external link)