Australia’s active vaccine safety system
Cashman P, Macartney K, Khandaker G, King C, Gold M, Durrheim DN.
This paper reviews Australian and overseas studies of adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) surveillance systems that involve active contact with individuals following vaccination, and describe how these approaches improve our understanding of vaccine safety. The authors conclude that "Public health authorities require near real-time sensitive post-marketing AEFI surveillance systems to ensure public safety and public confidence in vaccines. Passive surveillance is the cornerstone of vaccine safety but has limitations of under reporting and imprecise risk estimates. Active surveillance can offer more sensitive surveillance, timely signal detection and provides phase IV (i.e., post-marketing safety) data for regulators and public health authorities. By having active surveillance, which directly surveys the consumers in near real time and makes the results publically available, active surveillance systems address transparency concerns and contributes to public confidence in the whole immunisation programme. A number of exploratory systems utilising e-technology have been developed and their potential for scaling up and application in developing settings deserves further investigation." Access the full text publication here.
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