7.2: Initiate and Submit a VAERS Report

Overview of Scenario

The EHR or other clinical software initiates and submits a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) report.

Example of Scenario

Dr. Smith examines Juana Maria Gonzales Morales 24 hours after she receives a live, attenuated influenza vaccine. She had fever and diarrhea and, therefore, Dr. Smith entered her observations indicating a possible adverse event.  The EHR asks Dr. Smith if she wanted to submit a report to VAERS and, if so, the EHR formats and submits a report.


Providers generally report adverse reactions to the Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VAERS) directly on the VAERS website (https://vaers.hhs.gov/index). The VAERS site does not accept electronic report submission. Therefore, EHRs can provide a link to the site but further integration has not occurred.

CDC has developed an open-source clinical decision support system called Electronic Support for Public Health-Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (ESP-VAERS) to assist clinicians with adverse event detection and reporting.[i] The system monitors the EHR for new diagnoses, changes in laboratory values and new allergies following vaccine administration. The ESP-VAERS sends the physician a secure electronic message if it identifies a suggestive event and invites the physician to affirm or refute the message, add comments and submit an automated prepopulated electronic report to VAERS.

  • Vendor Perspectives. Vendors should evaluate opportunities to incorporate the new CDC ESP-VAERS clinical decision support system to help identify and report potential adverse events. Vendors should also consider the system as a method to identify vaccine-related adverse events as part of the clinical workflow.
  • Provider and Implementer Perspectives. Providers should review needs to identify and report vaccine-related adverse events with their vendors.


There are no tests for this capability.

Data Elements

There are no data elements for this capability.


[i] Baker MA, Kaelber DC, Bar-Shain DS, et. al. Advanced clinical decision support for vaccine adverse event detection and reporting, Clin Infect Dis. 2015;61(6):864-870. Abstract is available at: http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/61/6/864.abstract?sid=7aa6bb9d-7cd1-4015-a648-91cd178f4718. Accessed 22 September 2015.