Drug Safety Week: Making vaccines better for everyone

The Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS) of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO), launches a week-a long social media campaign to promote the importance of reporting suspected side effects after vaccination to CRS or national reporting systems.

Taking place from 1–7 November 2021, the sixth #MedSafetyWeek social media campaign will focus on vaccines. Pharmaceutical agencies in 64 countries will encourage health professionals, national immunization program staff, as well as patients and their caregivers and families, to report problems with vaccines, including COVID-19 injections.

Vaccines are among the most important advances in medicine, saving millions of lives each year and have proven to be the best method to protect people against infectious diseases. However, as with all medicines, side effects can occur.

According to Mr. Dean Chambliss, PAHO Subregional Program Director, Caribbean, “This campaign comes at a critical time when millions of people are being vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccine safety begins with the timely detection and reporting of adverse events after vaccination. It is important to report suspected adverse events of vaccines and by extension all drugs. Every report counts, but to have an impact, countries must assess this information and regularly share security updates with the international community. “

In August 2021, CARPHA launched its Post-Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting (AEFI) online form which can be used for any vaccine, including newer COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director of CARPHA, said: “Reporting an adverse reaction after vaccination does not mean that the event was caused by the vaccine or that the person who administered the vaccine did. an error, but it is a part to help national authorities identify events that may require further investigation. Information from surveys and data analyzes will help Member States to identify the types of reactions people experience and any additional monitoring or regulatory action that may be required. “

Reporting side effects that last more than three days, and those that get people to see a doctor is an important part of verifying and ensuring that approved vaccines remain safe when used in larger populations. Health workers are encouraged to use relevant vaccine information from trusted sources to guide patients, parents and caregivers.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines:

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