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IOM report details strategy for monitoring safety of childhood immunization schedule
Date:1/16/2013

systems can be harnessed, the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) is the best available tool for exploring questions about the immunization schedule should the need arise, the committee concluded. This database contains information on the immunization histories of more than 9 million people covered by nine participating managed care organizations. Researchers can identify individuals who were vaccinated according to alternative schedules as well as any diagnoses, medical procedures, and outcomes they have experienced. VSD also contains data on race, age, gender, and other factors that help researchers do better comparisons and account for factors that might affect participants' health. Already a research team has tapped VSD to explore patterns among children in the Kaiser Permanente Colorado system who are defined as undervaccinated.

However, VSD tracks people from only eight states and looks at a smaller percentage of low-income and minority people than is in the U.S. population as a whole. Moreover, VSD's usefulness depends on the continuing involvement of participating health plans. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its partners should maintain their commitment to funding VSD and consider bringing in additional health plan members to enhance the data and make it more representative of the full U.S. population, the report says.

Newer data collection and surveillance systems offer great potential to monitor rare adverse events that may be associated with the childhood immunization schedule, the committee said. When fully implemented, the Sentinel Initiative program being developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to monitor the safety of approved drugs and other medical products will complement existing passive vaccine surveillance systems, the report says. FDA's new Post-License Rapid Immunization Safety Monitoring Program is amassing a large amount of health data, offering the potential to analyze vaccine exposures a
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Contact: Christine Stencel
news@nas.edu
202-334-2138
National Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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