Pan-Canadian Vaccine Injury Support Program
Vaccines used in Canada are safe and effective. They are developed to meet the highest standards, with rigorous independent review of scientific evidence, and are continually monitored for safety and effectiveness before they are approved for use. Following approval, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends how the vaccine should be used. Once vaccines are made available to the public, they are regularly monitored for safety, and if any safety concerns arise, they can be removed from market.
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.
Like any medication, vaccines can cause reactions and side effects. After vaccination, people may experience mild side effects. This is normal; the body is building immunity against the vaccine-preventable disease. Serious reactions are very rare – less than 1 in a million – but they can happen. A small number of Canadians may have an ‘adverse event’ after vaccination, caused either by the vaccine or by the administration of the vaccine.
Building on the Québec model in place for over thirty years – and bringing Canada in line with the other G7 countries which have similar programs – a pan-Canadian vaccine injury support program is being newly implemented by the Public Health Agency of Canada. It is a no-fault program for all vaccines approved by Health Canada.
See also: Vaccine Safety.