Objective: Combination vaccines have improved the efficiency of delivery of new vaccines in low and middle-income countries. Post-authorization monitoring of adverse events (AEs) after vaccination with a liquid pentavalent DTwP-HepB-Hib combination vaccine was conducted in Guatemalan infants.
Methods: A prospective observational safety study of the incidence of medical attended events (MAEs) and serious adverse events (SAEs) in children who received pentavalent and oral polio vaccines at 2, 4 and 6 months of age was conducted in two clinics at the Institute of Guatemala. Parents were contacted by telephone after each dose. All outpatient, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations were monitored. A self-controlled analysis was conducted to determine if there was evidence of increased risk of MAEs or SAEs following vaccines as compared to control time windows.
Results: Of 3000 recruited infants, 2812 (93.7%) completed the third dose and 2805 (93.5%) completed follow-up. Ten AEs in eight infants, of which four SAEs in four infants, were classified as related to the vaccine. Thirteen deaths were reported due to common illnesses of infancy, and none were judged to be related to the vaccine. The mortality rate (4.4 per 1000) was lower than expected for the population. The incidence-rate-ratio for healthcare visits was lower in post-vaccination time windows than for control windows; after the first vaccine dose, the rate ratios for the risk periods of 0-1, 2-6, and 7-30 days post-vaccination were 0.3, 0.5, and 0.7, respectively (all statistically significantly different from the reference value of 1.0 for the 31-60 day control period).
Conclusion: The liquid pentavalent vaccine was associated with lower rates of health care visits and not associated with increases in SAEs or hospitalizations. Systems can be set up in low to middle income countries to capture all health care visits to monitor the safety of new vaccines.
Keywords: DTP; Hib; Liquid pentavalent; Post licensure surveillance; Safety.
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