Summary

You have now completed the learning for this module. These are the main points that you have learned.

  • With the exception of water safety, vaccines have the greatest potential to promote public health. They reduce morbidity and mortality from infectious disease, saving costs as well as lives.
  • Public trust in vaccines is easily undermined: there is a lower tolerance for adverse events than for other prescribed drugs.
  • The five categories of AEFIs are:
    1. vaccine product-related reaction;
    2. vaccine quality defect-related reaction;
    3. immunization error-related reaction;
    4. immunization anxiety-related reaction/Immunization stress related response (ISSR);
    5. coincidental event.
  • Vaccines generate an immune response in the body, and the characteristics of a vaccine that increase the risk of an adverse reaction.
  • The four main types of vaccine are live attenuated, inactivated, subunit and toxoid and there are specific vaccines of each antigen type.
  • Vaccines are regulated from development, to licensure, to use, and national regulatory authorities play an important role in this process.
  • Post-licensure surveillance of a vaccine after its introduction to the market is critical as clinical trials may not detect rare or very rare reactions, or reactions with delayed onset.
  • The risks associated with vaccines are very low compared with the risks of the diseases they are designed to prevent.