The CARPHA Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS) has introduced an online reporting form to assist immunization programmes within Ministries of Health to collect case reports of adverse events following immunization with COVID-19 vaccines.
According to the World Health Organization, an adverse event following immunization (AEFI) is “any untoward medical occurrence which follows immunization and which does not necessarily have a causal relationship with the usage of the vaccine. The adverse event may be any unfavourable or unintended sign, abnormal laboratory finding, symptom or disease.”
“The reporting of an AEFI does not mean the event has been caused by the vaccine, or that the person who gave the vaccine made an error, but it is an important part of helping the national authorities to identify events that may need to be investigated further. The information from investigations and data analyses will assist Member States in identifying the types of reactions that persons are experiencing, and any additional monitoring or regulatory actions that may be needed,” stated Dr. Joy St. John, CARPHA Executive Director.
The online reporting form is designed to provide an additional avenue to assist with reporting, particularly by busy health professionals or the public who are unable to visit the vaccination centres in person.
CARPHA anticipates that this endeavour will also minimise the need for a physical presence at health facilities. Each report will be received by CARPHA-CRS, and each will be forwarded to the respective Ministry of Health for local follow up by the immunization programme personnel. This form may be used for any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.
Persons who experience an AEFI are encouraged to speak with a health professional who can advise on the medical aspects, and/or assist to complete the online form which can be accessed here: VigiCarib Vaccine AEFI Form.
Questions about use of the form may be sent via email@example.com
The CRS is an initiative of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and is managed as a regulatory unit within CARICOM’s regional public health body, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), with support from the Pan American Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. About the CRS https://www.carpha.org/What-We-Do/CRS/Caribbean-Regulatory-System