Vaccine Safety Information for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare Provider with Patient

Healthcare providers are essential, longstanding partners in the safe administration of vaccines. They ensure safety from the moment vaccines arrive at a facility to when they are administered to patients.

Storage and handling of vaccines

Proper storage and handling of vaccines by healthcare providers helps to ensure vaccines remain potent so that they result in an adequate immune response in the patient. CDC provides vaccine storage and handling resources to educate providers on best practices.

Administering vaccines

When caring for patients, healthcare providers evaluate whether additional vaccines are indicated based on a patient’s existing medical conditions or age to ensure that patients receive all recommended vaccines. Providers share important information about vaccine benefits, risks, and common vaccine safety concerns. They also screen patients for vaccine contraindications (such as history of severe allergic reactions) and precautions, which guide the decision around whether or not certain vaccines are recommended for an individual patient. While severe, life-threatening reactions following vaccinations are rare, providers should be prepared to manage reactions should they occur. CDC resources for providers on these topics include vaccine precautions and contraindications and managing vaccine reactions.

Reporting adverse events

Healthcare providers also contribute to what we know about vaccine safety by reporting clinically important adverse events following vaccination. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is the nation’s frontline system for monitoring vaccine safety. While anyone can submit a report, the system depends on healthcare professionals to report adverse events should they occurexternal icon. The information shared in VAERS reports helps CDC and FDA keep vaccines safe for everyone.

Information for Healthcare Providers
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