Vaccinations have some risk of harmful side effects or adverse events. For most vaccines this risk is very small, or the side effects are minor such as swelling near an injection site or general fatigue for a few days. Because military servicemembers receive numerous vaccines to protect them against risks they face during their service, in a small number of cases they may experience side effects.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) maintain a database of adverse events and harmful side effects of vaccines called the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Each report that is filed with VAERS provides valuable information that is added to the VAERS database, which is then used to ensure the safest strategies of vaccine use and to further reduce the rare risks associated with vaccines.

If you experienced an adverse event or significant side effects you think may be related to a vaccination you received during your service or otherwise, you may report that online to VAERS at: If you received medical treatment, the doctor who treated you may also be obligated to file a report. You can also download a copy of the reporting form, available at and submit it by fax or mail to:

P.O. Box 1100
Rockville, MD 20849-1100
Fax (toll-free): 1-800-822-7967