Clinician responsibilities in Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) monitoring and reporting
April 13, 2022
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To: Local Health System Partners
FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
Recognize and report AEFIs
An Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) is an unwanted or unexpected health effect that happens after someone receives a vaccine, which may or may not be caused by the vaccine.
Please be reminded that health care providers (i.e., physicians, nurses, and pharmacists) are required to report AEFIs by law. AEFI reports provide vital information required to monitor vaccine safety in Ontario. Reporting AEFI is critical for two reasons:
- For individual level decision-making regarding recommendations for future doses of vaccines given in a series or for which boosters are required where an individual has experienced an AEFI.
- For jurisdictional level safety evaluation and surveillance purposes to ensure the quality, safety and effectiveness of vaccines used in the Ontario Publicly Funded Immunization Program, as well as other Canadian approved vaccines used at the national level.
AEFIs reported to the local public health unit are individually assessed by staff and the Medical Officer of Health. Recommendations are shared with the vaccine recipient regarding any safety precautions or considerations that should be implemented for further doses of the implicated vaccine. Unreported events can contribute to negative patient outcomes should further doses of vaccines be administered without required precautions in place.
All AEFI reports are shared by Public Health through the provincial AEFI reporting system for further assessment and investigation as required.
What to report
Report any event that may be related to receipt of a vaccine. Of particular importance are events which require medical consultation, or unusual or unexpected events.
What not to report
Common or mild events do not need to be reported such as fever not accompanied by any other symptoms, injection site reactions that last less than four days, vasovagal syncope (without injury) or events that are clearly attributable to other causes.
If you are unsure whether to report an AEFI, be proactive and report the event.
How to report
The Ontario AEFI Reporting Form is used for reporting AEFI to Public Health Sudbury & Districts. The form is posted on our website along with additional information on AEFI including the AEFI Fact Sheet for Health Care Providers. The fact sheet outlines adverse events by type and the associated temporal criteria for reporting based on vaccine type.
Completed forms can be faxed to Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ secure fax at 705.677.9618. Health care providers are not permitted to charge patients for completing this mandatory reporting form.
If you have any questions regarding AEFI please contact the Vaccine Preventable Disease Program at 705.522.9200, ext. 301 or toll-free at 1.866.522.9200.
Original Signed By
Dr. Penny Sutcliffe Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
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This item was last modified on April 13, 2022