Specific aspects of vaccines to be considered in pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology have been highlighted in several documents. The report of the CIOMS/WHO Working Group on Definition and Application of Terms for Vaccine Pharmacovigilance (2012) emphasises that characteristics of the vaccine and the vaccinated population, settings and circumstances of vaccine administration and data analysis issues are worthy of special attention in vaccine safety monitoring. It also provides definitions and explanatory notes for the terms ‘vaccine pharmacovigilance’, ‘vaccination failure’ and ‘adverse event following immunisation (AEFI)’. Recommendations on vaccine-specific aspects of the EU pharmacovigilance system, including on risk management, signal detection and post-authorisation safety studies (PASS) are presented in the Module P.I: Vaccines for prophylaxis against infectious diseases of the Good pharmacovigilance practices (GVP).
Methods for vaccine pharmacovigilance have been developed by the Brighton Collaboration, which provides resources to facilitate and harmonise collection, analysis and presentation of vaccine safety data, including case definitions, an electronic tool to help the classification of reported signs and symptoms, template protocols and guidelines. Module 4 (Surveillance) of the e-learning training course Vaccine Safety Basics of the World Health Organization (WHO) describes phamacovigilance principles, causality assessment procedures, surveillance systems and factors influencing the risk-benefit balance of vaccines. In particular, in contrast to the use of other medicines, vaccines are often used in healthy people and it is not only important to identify possible risks but also to emphasize safety if it does exist.
|Annex 1.||Guidance on conducting systematic revies and meta-analyses of completed comparative pharmacoepidemiological studies of safety outcomes|