COVID-19

Safety of COVID-19 vaccines

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) monitors the safety of COVID-19 vaccines authorised in the European Union (EU) extremely carefully. This enables the detection of any rare side effects that may emerge once many millions of people are vaccinated.

  • More than 880 million doses of vaccines have been given to people in the EU and European Economic Area (EEA), as of late May 2022.
  • The authorised COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. They were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials and have met EMA’s scientific standards for safety, efficacy and quality.
  • The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is continuously monitored and evaluated.
  • Monthly safety updates give an overview of the PRAC’s regular safety evaluation.
  • The vast majority of known side effects of COVID-19 vaccines are mild and short-lived.
  • Serious safety problems are extremely rare.

Latest safety information

Exclamation markThe latest information on the safety of each vaccine is in the vaccine's monthly safety update, available via the links below.

The figures below provide overall numbers of suspected side effects that individuals and healthcare professionals have reported after using a COVID-19 vaccine in the EU and EEA.

Reported cases concern suspected side effects, i.e. medical events that have been observed after vaccination, but which are not necessarily related to or caused by the vaccine.  The problem may have happened anyway, for example, because of an unrelated health issue.

The nature of spontaneous reporting also means that some people may have not reported their side effects, particularly if they were mild. 

For more information on these reports see:

 

Comirnaty
(BioNTech and Pfizer)
Status as of 29/05/2022

640,000,000
Doses given to people in the EU/EEA

786,983*
Reports of suspected side effects in the EU/EEA (see www.adrreports.eu)

* Reported cases concern suspected side effects, i.e. medical events that have been observed after vaccination, but which are not necessarily related to or caused by the vaccine.

PDF icon Read latest safety update

All Comirnaty safety updates 
Arrow right

Vaxzevria
(AstraZeneca)
Status as of 29/05/2022

69,000,000
Doses given to people in the EU/EEA

276,697*
Reports of suspected side effects in the EU/EEA (see www.adrreports.eu)

* Reported cases concern suspected side effects, i.e. medical events that have been observed after vaccination, but which are not necessarily related to or caused by the vaccine.

PDF icon Read latest safety update

All Vaxzevria safety updates 
Arrow right

Spikevax
(Moderna)
Status as of 29/05/2022

152,000,000
Doses given to people in the EU/EEA

219,135*
Reports of suspected side effects in the EU/EEA (see www.adrreports.eu)

* Reported cases concern suspected side effects, i.e. medical events that have been observed after vaccination, but which are not necessarily related to or caused by the vaccine.

PDF icon Read latest safety update

All Spikevax safety updates 
Arrow right

Jcovden
(Janssen)
Status as of 29/05/2022

19,500,000
Doses given to people in the EU/EEA

50,410*
Reports of suspected side effects in the EU/EEA (see www.adrreports.eu)

* Reported cases concern suspected side effects, i.e. medical events that have been observed after vaccination, but which are not necessarily related to or caused by the vaccine.

PDF icon Read latest safety update

All Jcovden safety updates 
Arrow right

Nuvaxovid
(Novavax)
Status as of 29/05/2022

210,000
Doses given to people in the EU/EEA

964*
Reports of suspected side effects in the EU/EEA (see www.adrreports.eu)

* Reported cases concern suspected side effects, i.e. medical events that have been observed after vaccination, but which are not necessarily related to or caused by the vaccine.

PDF icon Read latest safety update

All Nuvaxovid safety updates 
Arrow right

    As of May 2022, EMA is using a different method to calculate the figures for COVID-19 doses administered in the European Union / European Economic Area. Figures from the June 2022 safety updates should therefore not be compared with those published in previous months.

     

    How EMA monitors vaccine safety

    The EU safety monitoring plan for COVID-19 vaccines requires EMA to monitor suspected side effects reported by individuals and healthcare professionals in the EU. 

    An EU database called EudraVigilance holds these reports. The European suspected adverse drug reactions database provides public access to these data in a number of ways, while taking account of EU data protection law.

    EMA’s PRAC and the national competent authorities continuously monitor EudraVigilance to identify any new safety issues that require investigation. These are known as safety signals

    When assessing a safety signal, the PRAC looks for any unusual or unexpected patterns, such as a medical event occurring in vaccinated people at a higher rate than in the general population.

    They review other sources of evidence, such as clinical studies, epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology studies, the medical literature and information from regulators outside the EU.

    The PRAC then conducts a robust assessment of all combined safety data before concluding on how the signal affects the vaccine's safety and its benefit-risk balance. 

    If needed, EMA may decide to update the vaccine's product information to provide the right advice to healthcare professionals and patients, require the manufacturer to conduct additional studies, or restrict the use of the vaccine.

    Patients and healthcare professionals should report any suspected side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine to their national competent authority. For information on how to do this see:

    Topics

    How useful was this page?

    Add your rating
    Average
    56 ratings
    14 ratings
    5 ratings
    18 ratings
    143 ratings