Global Medicines Program

January 23, 2014

Working to make vaccines safer

Locally, Andy Stergachis contributed to an article entitled “Assessing vaccine safety communication with healthcare providers in a large urban county” published in the Journal of Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety online. Stergachis teamed up with the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, Public Health – Seattle & King County and the Washington State Pharmacy Association to survey nearly 300 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and commercial vaccinator employees in King County to find out how well everyone understood the vaccine health reporting systems.  The study revealed that 16 percent of those surveyed reported having seen a patient whose symptoms were suspected to be a vaccine-related adverse event. However, 61 percent of respondents were unclear about which types of adverse events were reportable; 18 percent of respondents did not know whose responsibility it was to report it; and 17 percent did not know how to report it.  The authors concluded that healthcare professionals who administer vaccines need additional information on their role in vaccine safety and adverse event reporting. For more on the topic and article, read the complete story featured on the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice website here:

Globally, Andy Stergachis participated in the World Health Organization Global Vaccine Safety Meeting on The Global Vaccine Safety Blueprint, September 26-27, 2011, Geneva, Switzerland.  WHO started its Global Vaccine Safety Blueprint initiative in 2010to develop a plan for global vaccine safety, with an emphasis on low and middle-income countries. Read more about the meeting here: