Vaccine Safety

Vaccines used in Canada are safe and effective. They are developed to meet 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. Following approval, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends how the vaccine should be used.

Once vaccines are made available to the public, they are regularly monitored for safety by:

  • the Public Health Agency of Canada 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), 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.

To read more on vaccine safety:

Canadian Paediatric Society. Caring for Kids.

Public Health Agency of Canada. Vaccine Safety in Canada video (YouTube).

Public Health Agency of Canada. Vaccine Safety in Canada poster.

The Vaccine Safety Net is a global network of websites, evaluated by the World Health Organization, that provide reliable information on vaccine safety. 

Last Updated: 15 April 2019