How to report an unexpected reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine

Mar 16, 2021, 7:38 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — More than one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Utah. And there have been relatively few people who report an unexpected reaction or adverse effects aside from soreness, drowsiness, and headache.

If you do experience a severe reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to know about it. By using the agency’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or  VAERS, you can do just that.

“The CDC are the ones that do the follow-up,” said Rich Lakin, Immunization Program Manager at the Utah Department of Health who spoke with KSL TV reporter Morgan Wolfe for her story. If the CDC sees a report coming from Utah, they’ll notify local officials.

Utahns have reported a reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine

Wolfe reports that five Utahns have submitted reports to the VAERS webpage, claiming the death of a family member was due to the COVID-19 vaccine.  More than 180 Utahns have filed other reports on the site.

“Vaccine side effects are very rare. For every one million MMR vaccine that goes out, there is one person per one million that has a severe allergic reaction,” Lakin told Wolfe.

Utah’s COVID-19 cases continue a downward trend, with no deaths reported on Sunday and only about 400 new cases reported on Tuesday.  Lakin attributes the good numbers to an increasingly successful vaccine rollout.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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How to report an unexpected reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine