Many of us in health care have been encouraged to see vaccines for COVID-19 becoming available in BC, Canada, and around the world.

It’s an exciting time—­­reinforced by senior officials who have stated that there is now a light at the end of the tunnel.

But what happens when someone experiences an adverse reaction following a COVID-19 vaccine? Where should health care providers report these reactions?

“Serious reactions to all vaccines, including COVID-19, publicly funded, or privately purchased, should be reported to your local health unit,” says Kyle Noftall, a communicable disease epidemiologist at the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

Kyle advises health care providers to download the Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) form, then fax the completed form to their local health unit.

Reports will then be reviewed by a regional vaccine safety nurse and Medical Health Officer, analyzed at the provincial level for detection of potential safety signals, and submitted into the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Canadian Adverse Events Following Immunization Surveillance System (CAEFISS).

The ADR form in BCPSLS should NOT be used to report adverse reactions to vaccines.


Although it’s mandatory to report serious reactions to vaccines under Vanessa’s Law, Health Canada shares the monitoring of vaccines with the Public Health Agency of Canada.

In order to decrease the burden of reporting on health care providers and avoid duplicate reports, Health Canada advises that AEFI should continue to be reported via local public health units.

We extend our gratitude to all of you who are doing your part to help BC stay the course during the pandemic, and offer a special thank you to everyone who has continued to make time to report adverse reactions and patient safety incidents!


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