Adapting Group Sequential Methods to Observational Postlicensure Vaccine Safety Surveillance: Results of a Pentavalent Combination DTaP-IPV-Hib Vaccine Safety Study

American journal of epidemiology (Impact Factor: 5.23). 01/2013; 177(2). DOI: 10.1093/aje/kws317
Source: PubMed


To address gaps in traditional postlicensure vaccine safety surveillance and to promote rapid signal identification, new prospective monitoring systems using large health-care database cohorts have been developed. We newly adapted clinical trial group sequential methods to this observational setting in an original safety study of a combination diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis adsorbed (DTaP), inactivated poliovirus (IPV), and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine (DTaP-IPV-Hib) among children within the Vaccine Safety Datalink population. For each prespecified outcome, we conducted 11 sequential Poisson-based likelihood ratio tests during September 2008-January 2011 to compare DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccinees with historical recipients of other DTaP-containing vaccines. No increased risk was detected among 149,337 DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccinees versus historical comparators for any outcome, including medically attended fever, seizure, meningitis/encephalitis/myelitis, nonanaphylactic serious allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, or invasive Hib disease. In end-of-study prespecified subgroup analyses, risk of medically attended fever was elevated among 1- to 2-year-olds who received DTaP-IPV-Hib vaccine versus historical comparators (relative risk = 1.83, 95% confidence interval: 1.34, 2.50) but not among infants under 1 year old (relative risk = 0.83, 95% confidence interval: 0.73, 0.94). Findings were similar in analyses with concurrent comparators who received other DTaP-containing vaccines during the study period. Although lack of a controlled experiment presents numerous challenges, implementation of group sequential monitoring methods in observational safety surveillance studies is promising and warrants further investigation.

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    ABSTRACT: In 2008, a diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis, and inactivated poliovirus combined vaccine (DTaP-IPV) was licensed for use in children 4 through 6 years of age. While pre-licensure studies did not demonstrate significant safety concerns, the number vaccinated in these studies was not sufficient to examine the risk of uncommon but serious adverse events. To assess the risk of serious adverse events following DTaP-IPV vaccination. The study was conducted from January 2009 through September 2012 in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) project. In the VSD, electronic vaccination and encounter data are updated and aggregated weekly as part of ongoing surveillance activities. Based on previous reports and biologic plausibility, eight potential adverse events were monitored: meningitis/encephalitis; seizures; stroke; Guillain-Barré syndrome; Stevens-Johnson syndrome; anaphylaxis; serious allergic reactions other than anaphylaxis; and serious local reactions. Adverse event rates in DTaP-IPV recipients were compared to historical incidence rates in the VSD population prior to 2009. Sequential probability ratio testing was used to analyze the data on a weekly basis. During the study period, 201,116 children received DTaP-IPV vaccine. Ninety-seven percent of DTaP-IPV recipients also received other vaccines on the same day, typically measles-mumps-rubella and varicella vaccines. There was no statistically significant increased risk of any of the eight pre-specified adverse events among DTaP-IPV recipients when compared to historical incidence rates. In this safety surveillance study of more than 200,000 DTaP-IPV vaccine recipients, there was no evidence of increased risk for any of the pre-specified adverse events monitored. Continued surveillance of DTaP-IPV vaccine safety may be warranted to monitor for rare adverse events, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome.
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