Background: Assured quality vaccines and safe immunization practices are pre-requisite to successful immunization programs. All vaccines go through stringent safety checks during pre-licensure stage. Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) Surveillance program is an integral part of any immunization program to monitor the vaccine safety in the post licensure phase. AEFI were being reported to the HP-CDC, Ministry of Public Health, Qatar since long time. In 2014, measures were taken to increase the reporting by increasing awareness about AEFI, importance of reporting and modified AEFI reporting forms were issued to health facilities providing vaccination services. Objectives: To determine the characteristics and trends of AEFI and to assess the performance of the Vaccine safety surveillance system. Methodology: A record based descriptive study was done using the passively collected AEFI case reports submitted to the EPI section, MOPH from 2014 to 2018. The data was analyzed with respect to the age-gender distribution, characteristics of AEFI, reporting trends over time, timeliness and case completeness and AEFI reporting rates (per 100,000 vaccine doses). Results: A total of 148 cases of AEFI have been reported to MOPH from 2014 to 2018. Of these majority were mild reactions and only 10% were severe reactions. The most frequently reported individual AEFI in children, was injection site reaction. Most of the AEFI were reported following MMR (National MMR Campaign) and DTaP vaccine (non-campaign). Conclusion: The data confirms the low rate of AEFI being reported in Qatar. Vaccine safety surveillance system is still developing and needs additional methods to complement. However, the current system provides a reference point for the monitoring of the ongoing AEFI reporting trends and characteristics.
Published Date: 2020-09-02; Received Date: 2020-08-18