Safety surveillance of the influenza vaccines

An annual flu vaccine safety survey is completed by over 20,000 people across Canada who receive their flu vaccine. The purpose of the online survey is to monitor adverse events (side-effects) after the flu shot and allows us to monitor the safety of the flu vaccine used in Canada each year.

Dr. Julie Bettinger presents findings from the safety survey at the Canadian Immunization Conference 2016. Of 200 abstracts, this study was chosen as one of the Top 10 Scientific Abstracts of 2016.

In 2015, nearly 15,000 adults responded to the online survey, most did not report any health events after the flu shot. 95% of the unvaccinated control group did not report a health events compared to nearly 97% of the vaccinated group. Overall, no safety concerns were detected for the 2015 flu vaccines.

For more information and to read the abstract, click here

This project is being conducted by Canadian National Vaccine Safety (CANVAS) network. 2016 marks the 6th year of the Vaccine Safety Survey.

Co-authors: Louis Valiquette, Brenda Coleman, Karina Top, Otto Vanderkooi, Anne McCarthy, James Kellner, Jennifer Isenor, Gaston De Serres

 

What causes changes in mothers’ vaccine hesitancy over time?

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Photo credit: US National Cancer Institute, Photographer Rhoda Baer.

In a study at the VEC, it was found that mothers who were initially hesitant about vaccines described feeling fear, anxiety, and confusion when deciding about infant immunization. One described literally having nightmares about the decision whether to vaccinate her baby.

Dr. Devon Greyson presents these findings at the Canadian Immunization Conference 2016. Of 200 abstracts, this study was chosen as one of the Top 10 Scientific Abstracts of 2016.

The 23 participants of the study included parents with school aged-children whose thoughts and feelings about vaccinations had changed since first becoming a parent. Some may have become less worried about vaccines and some, more worried.

So, what reduces vaccine hesitancy over time?

    • Extra attention and information sharing with hesitant mothers (whether or not they vaccinate)
    • Positive immunization experiences
    • Adequate attention and time to address concerns after an AEFI or chronic health condition
    • Acknowledgement that while HCPs are trusted sources, some mothers will want to verify information (consistent, verifiable vaccine safety and effectiveness information)

For more information and to read the abstract, click here
Co-authors: Dr. Julie Bettinger, Dr. Gina Ogilvie, Dr. Simon Dobson

November 30th: VEC & VIHD Joint Academic Rounds

Wednesday, Nov 30th, 2016
BCCHR Room 3113 | 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Presenters:
Dr. Clara Rubincam, Post doc Fellow
“Is the pre-natal period an underutilized opportunity for initiating communication with parents about pediatric vaccinations?”

Dr. Devon Greyson, Post doc Fellow
“What causes changes in mothers’ vaccine hesitancy over time?”

Byron Brook, PhD student
“Non-specific effects of vaccines: BCG protects from septic death”

National Immunization Awareness Week (#NIAW2015)

April 25th – May 2nd

Did you know, immunizations have saved more lives in Canada than any other health intervention in the last 50 years?  National Immunization Awareness Week (NIAW)  is celebrated in conjunction with World Immunization Week hosted by the World Health Organization.This one-week-long initiative is geared to strengthen immunization through public awareness.

Check out our NIAW 2015 Newsletter to find out if your vaccines are up to date!

 

NIAW slideshow