Monitoring vaccine safety using the Vaccine Safety Datalink: utilizing immunization registries for pandemic influenza
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Mass vaccination campaigns during which new vaccines may be administered to many millions of people in a short period of time call for timely and accurate post-licensure surveillance to monitor vaccine safety. To address the need for timely H1N1 influenza vaccine safety information during the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic, the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) project assessed the feasibility and potential mechanisms for utilizing data from state and local immunization registries to capture vaccinations that would not otherwise be captured by the data systems of the participating VSD managed care organizations (MCOs). Three of the eight VSD sites were able to capture H1N1 immunization data electronically from the state and local registries, and one site was able to capture the immunizations through a paper-based system; however, the remaining four sites encountered various obstacles that prevented capture of such data. Additional work will be required at these sites to overcome the barriers, which included privacy and confidentiality laws, time constraints brought on by the pandemic, as well as data quality concerns.
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