DÄ internationalArchive14/2009Vaccination Safety Update: Long Term Side Effects Due to Vaccination And Pharmacovigilance

Correspondence

Vaccination Safety Update: Long Term Side Effects Due to Vaccination And Pharmacovigilance

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2009; 106(14): 248-9. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2009.0248b

Pich, M; Köster, A; Klement, A

LNSLNS We thank the authors for their clear overview of vaccine sceptics' common objections, which are helpful for everyday clinical practice.

Most vaccinations and vaccination advice in Germany are given by general practitioners and pediatricians. Appropriate and responsible advice includes providing information to those about to receive the vaccine and their parents, about rare but possible side effects. These include the possible occurrence of Guillain-Barré syndromes after flu vaccinations (1), for example; the possible association between recombinant hepatitis B vaccine and multiple sclerosis (2), which is still under discussion in current publications; and the unexplained possible association of multiple vaccinations with neurodegenerative disorders in connection with aluminum hydroxide, which to date is the most common vaccine adjuvant in use (3).

Long term side effects due to vaccination can be detected to a sufficiently high quality standard only by means of long term, active pharmacovigilance conducted through independent and sufficiently equipped monitoring systems. To assess the long term safety of vaccines, passive post-vaccination observation by notification of vaccination complications by primary care physicians is not enough: possible causal associations with developing disorders—for example, neurodegenerative disorders—are difficult to state in individual cases years after the vaccine was given. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2009.0248b


Maurice Pich
Arno Köster
Dr. med. Andreas Klement
Institut für Allgemeinmedizin
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
06112 Halle/Saale, Germany
andreas.klement@medizin.uni-halle.de

Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that no conflict of interest exists according to the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.
1.
Haber P, DeStefano F, Angulo FJ et al.: Guillain-Barré syndrome following influenza vaccination. JAMA 2004; 292: 2478–81.
2.
Hocine MN, Farrington CP, Touzé E et al.: Hepatitis B vaccination and first central nervous system demyelinating events: reanalysis of a case-control study using the self-controlled case series method. Vaccine 2007; 25: 5938–43. MEDLINE
3.
Petrik MS, Wong MC, Tabata RC, Garry RF, Shaw CA: Aluminum adjuvant l inked to Gulf War illness induces motor neuron death in mice. Neuromolecular Med 2007; 9: 83–100. MEDLINE
4.
Schneeweiß B, Pfleiderer M, Keller-Stanislawski B: Vaccination Safety Update. [Impfsicherheit heute]. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105(34–35): 590–5. VOLLTEXT
1. Haber P, DeStefano F, Angulo FJ et al.: Guillain-Barré syndrome following influenza vaccination. JAMA 2004; 292: 2478–81.
2. Hocine MN, Farrington CP, Touzé E et al.: Hepatitis B vaccination and first central nervous system demyelinating events: reanalysis of a case-control study using the self-controlled case series method. Vaccine 2007; 25: 5938–43. MEDLINE
3. Petrik MS, Wong MC, Tabata RC, Garry RF, Shaw CA: Aluminum adjuvant l inked to Gulf War illness induces motor neuron death in mice. Neuromolecular Med 2007; 9: 83–100. MEDLINE
4. Schneeweiß B, Pfleiderer M, Keller-Stanislawski B: Vaccination Safety Update. [Impfsicherheit heute]. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105(34–35): 590–5. VOLLTEXT