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Wijnans L.,Erasmus Medical Center | de Bie S.,Erasmus Medical Center | Dieleman J.,Erasmus Medical Center | Bonhoeffer J.,Brighton Collaboration Foundation | And 2 more authors.

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. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Marangu D.,University of Nairobi | Kovacs S.,University of Washington | Walson J.,University of Washington | Bonhoeffer J.,Brighton Collaboration Foundation | And 4 more authors.

Introduction: Wheeze is an important sign indicating a potentially severe adverse event in vaccine and drug trials, particularly in children. However, there are currently no consensus definitions of wheeze or associated respiratory compromise in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Objective: To identify definitions and severity grading scales of wheeze as an adverse event in vaccine and drug RCTs enrolling children <5 years and to determine their diagnostic performance based on sensitivity, specificity and inter-observer agreement. Methods: We performed a systematic review of electronic databases and reference lists with restrictions for trial settings, English language and publication date ≥1970. Wheeze definitions and severity grading were abstracted and ranked by a diagnostic certainty score based on sensitivity, specificity and inter-observer agreement. Results: Of 1205 articles identified using our broad search terms, we identified 58 eligible trials conducted in 38 countries, mainly in high-income settings. Vaccines made up the majority (90%) of interventions, particularly influenza vaccines (65%). Only 15 trials provided explicit definitions of wheeze. Of 24 studies that described severity, 11 described wheeze severity in the context of an explicit wheeze definition. The remaining 13 studies described wheeze severity where wheeze was defined as part of a respiratory illness or a wheeze equivalent. Wheeze descriptions were elicited from caregiver reports (14%), physical examination by a health worker (45%) or a combination (41%). There were 21/58 studies in which wheeze definitions included combined caregiver report and healthcare worker assessment. The use of these two methods appeared to have the highest combined sensitivity and specificity. Conclusion: Standardized wheeze definitions and severity grading scales for use in pediatric vaccine or drug trials are lacking. Standardized definitions of wheeze are needed for assessment of possible adverse events as new vaccines and drugs are evaluated. © 2015 The Authors. Source

Romio S.,Erasmus Medical Center | Weibel D.,Erasmus Medical Center | Dieleman J.P.,Erasmus Medical Center | Olberg H.K.,University of Bergen | And 24 more authors.

Background: The risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) following the United States' 1976 swine flu vaccination campaign in the USA led to enhanced active surveillance during the pandemic influenza (A(H1N1)pdm09) immunization campaign. This study aimed to estimate the risk of GBS following influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccination. Methods: A self-controlled case series (SCCS) analysis was performed in Denmark, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Information was collected according to a common protocol and standardised procedures. Cases classified at levels 1-4a of the Brighton Collaboration case definition were included. The risk window was 42 days starting the day after vaccination. Conditional Poisson regression and pooled random effects models estimated adjusted relative incidences (RI). Pseudo likelihood and vaccinated-only methods addressed the potential contraindication for vaccination following GBS. Results: Three hundred and three (303) GBS and Miller Fisher syndrome cases were included. Ninety-nine (99) were exposed to A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccination, which was most frequently adjuvanted (Pandemrix and Focetria). The unadjusted pooled RI for A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccination and GBS was 3.5 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 2.2-5.5), based on all countries. This lowered to 2.0 (95% CI: 1.2-3.1) after adjustment for calendartime and to 1.9 (95% CI: 1.1-3.2) when we accounted for contraindications. In a subset (Netherlands, Norway, and United Kingdom) we further adjusted for other confounders and there the RI decreased from 1.7 (adjusted for calendar month) to 1.4 (95% CI: 0.7-2.8), which is the main finding. Conclusion: This study illustrates the potential of conducting European collaborative vaccine safety studies. The main, fully adjusted analysis, showed that the RI of GBS was not significantly elevated after influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccination (RI = 1.4 (95% CI: 0.7-2.8). Based on the upper limits of the pooled estimate we can rule out with 95% certainty that the number of excess GBS cases after influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccination would be more than 3 per million vaccinated. © 2014 Romio et al. Source

Trifiro G.,Erasmus Medical Center | Trifiro G.,Messina University | Coloma P.M.,Erasmus Medical Center | Rijnbeek P.R.,Erasmus Medical Center | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Internal Medicine

A growing number of international initiatives (e.g. EU-ADR, Sentinel, OMOP, PROTECT and VAESCO) are based on the combined use of multiple healthcare databases for the conduct of active surveillance studies in the area of drug and vaccine safety. The motivation behind combining multiple healthcare databases is the earlier detection and validation, and hence earlier management, of potential safety issues. Overall, the combination of multiple healthcare databases increases statistical sample size and heterogeneity of exposure for postmarketing drug and vaccine safety surveillance, despite posing several technical challenges. Healthcare databases generally differ by underlying healthcare systems, type of information collected, drug/vaccine and medical event coding systems and language. Therefore, harmonization of medical data extraction through homogeneous coding algorithms across highly different databases is necessary. Although no standard procedure is currently available to achieve this, several approaches have been developed in recent projects. Another main challenge involves choosing the work models for data management and analyses whilst respecting country-specific regulations in terms of data privacy and anonymization. Dedicated software (e.g. Jerboa) has been produced to deal with privacy issues by sharing only anonymized and aggregated data using a common data model. Finally, storage and safe access to the data from different databases requires the development of a proper remote research environment. The aim of this review is to provide a summary of the potential, disadvantages, methodological issues and possible solutions concerning the conduct of postmarketing multidatabase drug and vaccine safety studies, as demonstrated by several international initiatives. © 2014 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine. Source

Izurieta H.S.,U.S. Food and Drug Administration | Zuber P.,World Health Organization | Bonhoeffer J.,Brighton Collaboration Foundation | Bonhoeffer J.,University of Basel | And 9 more authors.

With the advent of new vaccines targeted to highly endemic diseases in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and with the expansion of vaccine manufacturing globally, there is an urgent need to establish an infrastructure to evaluate the benefit-risk profiles of vaccines in LMIC. Fortunately the usual decade(s)-long time gap between introduction of new vaccines in high and low income countries is being significantly reduced or eliminated due to initiatives such as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) and the Decade of Vaccines for the implementation of the Global Vaccine Action Plan. While hoping for more rapid disease control, this time shift may potentially add risk, unless appropriate capacity for reliable and timely evaluation of vaccine benefit-risk profiles in some LMIC's are developed with external assistance from regional or global level. An ideal vaccine safety and effectiveness monitoring system should be flexible and sustainable, able to quickly detect possible vaccine-associated events, distinguish them from programmatic errors, reliably and quickly evaluate the suspected event and its association with vaccination and, if associated, determine the benefit-risk of vaccines to inform appropriate action. Based upon the demonstrated feasibility of active surveillance in LMIC as shown by the Burkina Faso assessment of meningococcal A conjugate vaccine or that of rotavirus vaccine in Mexico and Brazil, and upon the proof of concept international GBS study, we suggest a sustainable, flexible, affordable and timely international collaborative vaccine safety monitoring approach for vaccines being newly introduced. While this paper discusses only the vaccine component, the same system could also be eventually used for monitoring drug effectiveness (including the use of substandard drugs) and drug safety. © 2013. Source

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