Global Vaccine Safety

Evidence on safety of immunization during pregnancy – GACVS review

Vaccination of pregnant women may provide important benefits to mother, infant or both. WHO already recommends the use of several vaccines during pregnancy and some very promising new ones are in the pipeline. However, addressing the safety of immunization during pregnancy faces many challenges. This includes in particular the limited data available about safety in pregnant women, theoretical concerns about fetal risk, manufacturers’ liability concerns and methodological issues in assessing vaccine safety.

To address this, GACVS established a new sub-group in 2011. This report presents an overview of the relevant literature on safety data in this important group.

WHO publishes the first edition of the Vaccine Safety Net Newsletter

The World Health Organization (WHO) developed this new publication in response to the growing amount of misinformation regarding vaccine safety on the internet. The newsletter aims to disseminate news and information about the WHO Vaccine Safety Net (VSN); foster communication and synergy among VSN members; and promote good information practices for websites providing vaccine safety information.

WHO launches the Global Manual on Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Immunization

Monitoring of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) is an essential strategy for ensuring the safety of vaccines. This new manual provides guidance on setting-up AEFI surveillance systems with standardized methodologies and tools. It addresses the investigation of AEFI, how to analyze surveillance data, causality assessment and how to respond to serious AEFI, including communication. It also includes a description of the most common vaccine reactions provides references to the most recent references in vaccine pharmacovigilance. The manual is currently being translated in French and Spanish.

Focus on Africa - Vaccine safety capacity building in Tanzania

11 – 14 August 2014, Bagamoyo town, Tanzania.

A four-day capacity building workshop on AEFI surveillance and response was organized in Bagamoyo town, Tanzania from 11 – 14 August 2014. As Tanzania is preparing for mass immunization campaigns with multiple vaccines and drugs, the workshop was the opportunity to clarify the flow of vaccine safety information, roles and responsibilities with 21 national participants. The didactic sessions and group work were modelled on the WHO advanced course for causality assessment in vaccine pharmacovigilance.

In addition, 6 international participants from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe attended the meeting. Similar workshops will be conducted in their respective countries as part of a regional effort to strengthen national capacity for vaccine safety.

GVSI highlights