Adverse event following immunisation (AEFI)

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What is an AEFI?

The international definition of an AEFI is an unwanted or unexpected event following the administration of a vaccine.

An AEFI may be caused by a vaccine or may occur by coincidence (that is it would have occurred regardless of vaccination).

Relevant legislation

The statutory requirement to notify adverse events after immunisation is specified in the Public Health Act 2016 (external site) and the Public Health Regulations 2017 (external site).

Responsibility for notification

The medical or nurse practitioner who becomes aware of an adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) has a statutory responsibility to notify the WA Department of Health within 72 hours of diagnosis.

Other immunisation providers should also report an AEFI.

Who must be notified

Under the Public Health Act 2016 (external site) the Chief Health Officer must be notified, with delegation to the Director of Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD) at the WA Department of Health.

Notifications are made through the Western Australian Vaccine Safety Surveillance (WAVSS) system (external site) which is monitored by the Director of CDCD. 

How to notify

Health care providers can report possible AEFI using the online portal at AEFI-CAN WAVSS (external site).

WAVSS staff can be contacted at and 08 6456 0208.

Members of the public may choose to report AEFI online, or by phone or email.

Please use the AEFI-CAN reporting guide (PDF 1.3MB) to assist with reporting the AEFI online.

Should all AEFIs be reported?
You should report:
  • any significant event following immunisation
  • any vaccine reaction which requires assessment by a doctor or nurse, or which has affected a family’s confidence in future immunisation.

There are common reactions (Healthy WA) to vaccines which are usually mild and short lasting that do not require reporting.

More information

Find out more about WA Vaccine Safety Surveillance System for consumers (Healthy WA) or for health professionals.