A review of the safety of vaccines used in routine immunization in Africa

  • Peter Yamoah
  • Varsha Bangalee
  • Frasia Oosthuizen
Keywords: Safety of vaccines; immunization; Africa.


Background: Despite the significant role played by vaccines in global health, concerns over vaccine safety have increased tre- mendously over the years. There have been occasions where vaccines have caused rare, adverse reactions some of which have led to hospitalizations and even death. It is therefore important to establish the safety profile of routinely used vaccines in order to allay fears pertaining to their use.

Objectives: This review was aimed at pooling together the safety data of selected vaccines used for routine immunization in Africa, a region of the world with paucity of vaccine safety data.

Methods: Adverse Events Following Immunization safety data was searched for rotavirus, yellow fever, measles, rubella, tuber- culosis (Bacillus Calmette Guerin-BCG), pneumococcal, Haemophilus Influenza type b, polio, meningococcal and the influenza A (H1N1) vaccines in PUBMED, Google Scholar, Clinical trials.gov and Cochrane controlled register of trials databases.

Results: A total of twenty-four serious AEFIs and twenty-three minor AEFIs were identified from the review. The strength of association between AEFIs and vaccine was high for tuberculosis vaccine and moderate for all other vaccines.

Conclusion: Even though AEFIs (including mild and severe) were identified in the review, all the vaccines studied were gener- ally well tolerated.

Keywords: Safety of vaccines; immunization; Africa.  


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1680-6905