The effort to vaccinate the US population against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus hinged, in part, on public confidence in vaccine safety. Early in the vaccine program, >20% of parents reported that they would not vaccinate their children. Concerns about the safety of the vaccines were reported by many parents as a factor that contributed to their intention to forgo vaccination (see www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/2009-releases/survey-40-adults-absolutely-certain-h1n1-vaccine.html and www.med.umich.edu/mott/npch/reports/h1n1.htm). The safety profiles of 2009 H1N1 monovalent influenza vaccines were anticipated to be (and have been) similar to those of seasonal influenza vaccines, for which an excellent safety profile has been demonstrated. Here we describe steps taken by the US government to (1) assess the key federal systems in place before 2009 for monitoring the safety of vaccines and (2) integrate and upgrade those systems for optimal vaccine-safety monitoring during the 2009 H1N1 monovalent influenza vaccination program. These efforts improved monitoring of 2009 H1N1 vaccine safety, hold promise for enhancing future national monitoring of vaccine safety, and may ultimately help improve public confidence in vaccines.
"Adverse events of special interest (AESIs), listed by the Committee for Human Medicinal Products (CHMP) in Europe and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), included neuritis, convulsions, anaphylaxis, encephalitis, vasculitis, Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS), Bell's palsy, demyelinating disorders , and laboratory-confirmed vaccination failure. In the USA, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted active surveillance for the 2009 pandemic H1N1 vaccines through the newly established Post-licensure Rapid Immunization Safety Monitoring (PRISM) project and the existing Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) . Under the auspices of WHO, a global study was initiated on the association between pandemic H1N1 vaccines and GBS. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic several pandemic H1N1 vaccines were licensed using fast track procedures, with relatively limited data on the safety in children and adolescents. Different extensive safety monitoring efforts were put in place to ensure timely detection of adverse events following immunization. These combined efforts have generated large amounts of data on the safety of the different pandemic H1N1 vaccines, also in children and adolescents. In this overview we shortly summarize the safety experience with seasonal influenza vaccines as a background and focus on the clinical and post marketing safety data of the pandemic H1N1 vaccines in children. We identified 25 different clinical studies including 10,505 children and adolescents, both healthy and with underlying medical conditions, between the ages of 6 months and 23 years. In addition, large monitoring efforts have resulted in large amounts of data, with almost 13,000 individual case reports in children and adolescents to the WHO. However, the diversity in methods and data presentation in clinical study publications and publications of spontaneous reports hampered the analysis of safety of the different vaccines. As a result, relatively little has been learned on the comparative safety of these pandemic H1N1 vaccines - particularly in children. It should be a collective effort to give added value to the enormous work going into the individual studies by adhering to available guidelines for the collection, analysis, and presentation of vaccine safety data in clinical studies and to guidance for the clinical investigation of medicinal products in the pediatric population. Importantly the pandemic has brought us the beginning of an infrastructure for collaborative vaccine safety studies in the EU, USA and globally.
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