AusVaxSafety is an active vaccine safety surveillance system that monitors the safety of vaccines in Australia. Using de-identified data reported directly from people receiving the vaccines (or their parent or carer), AusVaxSafety monitors adverse events following immunisation and facilitates early detection of potential vaccine safety issues.

In the days following vaccination, responses are solicited via an automated SMS or email sent using AusVaxSafety surveillance tools (SmartVax or Vaxtracker), which have been implemented in more than 300 sentinel sites across Australia, including general practices, hospitals, schools, community clinics and Aboriginal Medical Services.

AusVaxSafety active vaccine safety surveillance sites across Australia = 317
(SmartVax surveillance tool = 303 and Vaxtracker surveillance tool = 14)

 

Analysis of de-identified responses occurs frequently and is reviewed by vaccine experts as well as the Australian Government of Health, including the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Key vaccine safety results are also available on the AusVaxSafety website.

The following vaccines are currently being actively monitored:

  • seasonal influenza vaccine in people aged 6 months and older (including pregnant women) on a weekly basis during the influenza vaccination season
  • human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in adolescents aged 11–14 years on a fortnightly basis 
  • pertussis booster vaccine in pregnant women on a monthly basis.

In January 2019 AusVaxSafety completed active surveillance of pertussis booster vaccine safety in children aged 12 months to 6 years after nearly three years of monthly monitoring. No safety signal was identified in children receiving DTPa at 18 months or DTPa-IPV at 4 years, with data contributed by over 55,000 participating parents/carers.

In November 2018 AusVaxSafety concluded active surveillance of zoster vaccine in adults aged 70–79 years after two years of fortnightly to monthly monitoring. No safety signal was identified in over 18,000 participants.

AusVaxSafety has also completed detailed vaccine safety analyses of all National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines using SmartVax data. The Vaccine safety in Australia AusVaxSafety summary report 2016–17 shows how parents and carers responded to an SMS about their child's health a few days after their vaccination at each schedule point in the NIP. 115,970 vaccination encounters were included in the analysis and the results confirm that vaccines on the NIP are safe.

In 2019, AusVaxSafety will implement active vaccine safety surveillance of all vaccines on the NIP Schedule.

Last updated June 2019