Most people are familiar with VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
They sometimes forget that it is only the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System for the United States.
Other countries have their own vaccine safety systems.
VigiAccess Numbers in Context
One of the biggest is VigiBase, the World Health Organization’s global database for suspected adverse drug reactions, maintained by the Uppsala Monitoring Centre in Sweden.
“Information on suspected ADR should not be interpreted as meaning that the medicinal product in question, or the active substance(s), generally causes the observed effect or is unsafe to use.”
Not surprisingly, folks misuse VigiBase numbers, just like they misuse VAERS reports.
To look at the VigiBase reports, you can use VigiAccess.
“VigiAccess has a search interface that allows visitors to retrieve summary statistics on suspected adverse reactions to medicines and vaccines.”
Uppsala Monitoring Centre
While VigiBase “is at the heart of UMC’s signal detection and scientific research,” you aren’t going to learn much from VigiAccess.
“Geographically, only continent-level statistics are shown, due to issues relating to patient confidentiality and data protection in individual countries.”
Uppsala Monitoring Centre
The biggest problem?
You don’t know how many vaccines were given to all of those people.
For example, while it might sound like there have been a lot of adverse drug reaction reports for the DTaP vaccine, with 179,447 reports in VigiAccess, since those are worldwide reports since 1968, it is likely among many billions of doses of vaccines being given.
Most importantly though, as with VAERS, “The reports in VigiBase result from suspicions of a relationship between a drug and a reaction. No causal relation has been confirmed.”
So how do you put the numbers from VigiBase and VigiAccess in context?
If you consider that reports and safety signals from VigiBase, VigiMatch, VigiRank, and other tools used by the Uppsala Monitoring Centre continue to find that vaccines are safe, then to put the DTaP numbers in context, they help us know that vaccines are being well monitored for safety.
And since we know that these diseases haven’t disappeared, any further context, if you need it, would be that since vaccines are safe and necessary, then you should get yourself and your family vaccinated and protected.
More on VigiBase and VigiAccess
- VigiBase FAQs
- Vaccine safety signals from the Uppsala Monitoring Centre database
- WHO VigiBase study does not find HPV vaccine unsafe.
- Study – Postlicensure safety evaluation of human papilloma virus vaccines.
- Study – No signal of interactions between influenza vaccines and drugs used for chronic diseases: a case-by-case analysis of the vaccine adverse event reporting system and vigibase.
- WHO – Vaccine Pharmacovigilance
- WHO – WHO Pharmaceuticals Newsletter