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The Canadian National Vaccine Safety (CANVAS) network monitors the safety of seasonal influenza vaccines in Canada.


To provide enhanced surveillance for seasonal influenza and pandemic influenza vaccines.


In 2017/18 and 2018/19 influenza seasons, adults (≥ 15 years of age) and parents of children vaccinated with the seasonal influenza vaccine participated in an observational study using web-based active surveillance. Participants completed an online survey for health events occurring in the first 7 days after vaccination. Participants who received the influenza vaccine in the previous season, but had not yet been vaccinated for the current season, were unvaccinated controls.


In 2017/18, 43,751 participants and in 2018/19, 47,798 completed the online safety survey. In total, 957 of 30,173 participants vaccinated in 2017/18 (3.2%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.0–3.4) and 857 of 25,799 participants vaccinated in 2018/19 (3.3%; 95% CI: 3.1–3.5) reported a health problem of sufficient intensity to prevent their normal daily activities and/or cause them to seek medical care (including hospitalisation). This compared to 323 of 13,578 (2.4%; 95% CI: 2.1–2.6) and 544 of 21,999 (2.5%; 95% CI: 2.3–2.7) controls in each respective season. The event rate in vaccinated adults and children was higher than the background rate and was associated with specific influenza vaccines. The higher rate of events was associated with systemic symptoms and migraines/headaches.


In 2017/18 and 2018/19, higher rates of events were reported following seasonal influenza vaccination than in the pre-vaccination period. This signal was associated with several seasonal influenza vaccine products.


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