Major vaccine safety controversies have arisen in several countries beginning in the last decades of 20th century. Such periodic vaccine safety controversies are unlikely to go away in the near future as more national immunization programs mature with near elimination of target vaccine-preventable diseases that result in relative greater prominence of adverse events following immunizations, both true reactions and temporally coincidental events. There are several ways in which vaccine safety capacity can be improved to potentially mitigate the impact of future vaccine safety controversies. This paper aims to take a "lifecycle" approach, examining some potential pre- and post-licensure opportunities to improve vaccine safety, in both developed (specifically U.S. and Europe) and low- and middle-income countries. (C) 2015 by American Journal of Preventive Medicine and Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.