Global Vaccine Safety

Communicating about vaccine safety


WHO initiated a collaborative effort with communications experts, vaccine safety experts and partner agencies to develop a capacity-building approach integrating AEFI surveillance and vaccine safety communications. On 22-23 June 2016, a workshop was held to explore strategies for this approach and its dissemination at Regional/Country level.

The group agreed that the overarching goal of the project was to encourage AEFI reporting globally. Field-level understanding of AEFIs and risk communication is essential to address parental concerns about AEFIs and to ensure continued uptake of vaccines. It was also acknowledged that political commitment at the highest level was critical to achieve this goal.

The Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety celebrates 15 years of contributions

The decline of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases has been accompanied with increased attention to possible vaccine reactions. In response, the WHO established in 1999 the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) to provide sound technical advice on vaccine safety. As an independent scientific group, GACVS has been assessing risks related to vaccines to help immunization policy-makers, in both, national and global levels, and guide them in the development of strategies and mechanisms especially for low- and middle-income countries. A comprehensive paper discussing GACVS’ accomplishments, the evolution and the challenges encountered throughout the 15 years of its life, has recently been published (Asturias EJ, et al., 2016 - )

Looking for reliable information on vaccine safety? Meet the Vaccine Safety Net

Due to the success of immunization, some diseases are no longer perceived as a threat. Certain groups do not hesitate to promote and share non-substantiated, misleading and unbalanced information about vaccines. This can create distrust and fear from vaccines, disrupt immunization programs, and lead to re-emergence of well controlled diseases.

Acting out a Vaccine Safety Crisis – A unique training in Tanzania, March 2016

At request of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, United Republic of Tanzania, WHO organized an innovative Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) field investigation and communication simulation training in Bagamoyo, from 14 to 18 March 2016. Participants included officers from the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), immunization programme (IVD), members of the national AEFI Committee, regional immunization and vaccine officers and experts from partner organizations in Tanzania.

Revised Core Variables and Reporting form for adverse events following immunization (AEFI)

To encourage countries to report AEFI with essential information, the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) proposed in June 2012 a set of simple and vaccine-specific minimum 22 AEFI records (core variables). An AEFI reporting form incorporating these core variables was subsequently developed and used by several member states. GACVS recently reviewed feedback received from countries and recommended the inclusion of three additional variables. This revised set of variables should enhance the quality of data collected and enable national programme managers in Member States to better monitor vaccine safety. A revised AEFI reporting form incorporating these changes has been developed by WHO.


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Global Vaccine Safety
World Health Organization