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On 10 May, public health officials from across the Americas converged on the Anschutz Medical Campus at the University of Colorado for the first Pan American Vaccine Safety Summit. The purpose of the two-day summit, organized by the Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization and the University of Colorado, was to create new ways of delivering immunizations safely.

Country representatives from ten countries defined the framework, mission, objectives and results of a proposed Pan American Vaccine Safety Network. Participants also determined the terms of reference of the Pan American Committee on Vaccine Safety (PACVS), a regional body of experts and institutions in vaccines that will provide evidence based recommen-dations and guidance to countries dealing with vaccine safety issues. Representatives also discussed how their nations deliv-er vaccines and the challenges of confronting rumours that can endanger immunization programmes. Proactive and honest communication was highlighted as critical measures in managing vaccine-related crisis.

A web-based platform titled e-SAVI was presented during the meeting. The platform allows reporting Events Supposedly Attributable to Vaccines and Immunization (ESAVI), storing and analyzing case information. The e-SAVI platform will be available without any cost to all the countries of the Americas. This platform will also look for effective mechanisms for harmonizing current country-interfaces to capture vaccine safety data. For further inquiries on the system, please contact Fernando Revilla and Pamela Bravo.

In addition, representatives recommended preparing a five-year work plan on vaccine safety issues that provide a set of re-gional strategies and activities to strengthen vaccine safety monitoring as well as crisis prevention and management. This work plan will serve as a tool to effectively identify and mobilize financial resources, and will seek the endorsement of PA-HO’s Member States and partners. Finally, representatives recommended continuously fostering of exchange of information and expertise among PAHO’s Member States and partners by establishing formal mechanisms for delivering vaccine safety technical information.


Published in Global Immunization Newsletter, May 2012.


Last Updated on Monday, 11 June 2012 10:10

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