Events supposedly attributable to vaccination or immunization during pandemic influenza A (H1N1) vaccination campaigns in Latin America and the Caribbean

A. M. Ropero-Álvarez, A. Whittembury, P. Bravo-Alcántara, H. J. Kurtis, M. C. Danovaro-Holliday, M. Velandia-González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


As part of the vaccination activities against influenza A[H1N1]pdm vaccine in 2009-2010, countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) implemented surveillance of events supposedly attributable to vaccines and immunization (ESAVI). We describe the serious ESAVI reported in LAC in order to further document the safety profile of this vaccine and highlight lessons learned.We reviewed data from serious H1N1 ESAVI cases from LAC countries reported to the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization. We estimated serious ESAVI rates by age and target group, as well as by clinical diagnosis, and completed descriptive analyses of final outcomes and classifications given in country.A total of 1000 serious ESAVI were reported by 18 of the 29 LAC countries that vaccinated against A[H1N1]pdm. The overall reporting rate in LAC was 6.91 serious ESAVI per million doses, with country reporting rates ranging from 0.77 to 64.68 per million doses. Rates were higher among pregnant women (16.25 per million doses) when compared to health care workers (13.54 per million doses) and individuals with chronic disease (4.03 per million doses). The top three most frequent diagnoses were febrile seizures (12.0%), Guillain-Barré Syndrome (10.5%) and acute pneumonia (8.0%). Almost half (49.1%) of the serious ESAVI were reported among children aged <18 years of age; within this group, the highest proportion of cases was reported among those aged <2 years (53.1%). Of all serious ESAVI reported, 37.8% were classified as coincidental, 35.3% as related to vaccine components, 26.4% as non-conclusive and 0.5% as a programmatic error.This regional overview of A[H1N1]pdm vaccine safety data in LAC estimated the rate of serious ESAVI at lower levels than other studies. However, the ESAVI diagnosis distribution is comparable to the published literature. Lessons learned can be applied in the response to future pandemics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014.


  • Events supposedly attributable to vaccines and immunization
  • Febrile seizures
  • Guillain-Barré
  • H1N1
  • Pandemic influenza
  • Vaccine safety


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