Indexed on: 02 May '03Published on: 02 May '03Published in: The Journal of infectious diseases
In the planning and implementation of mass immunization campaigns, vaccine delivery has always been a priority. However, safety issues have gained increasingly more attention and grown in importance, and campaign planners must now take them into prime consideration. The World Health Organization has released guidelines to assist with the design and implementation of safety surveillance systems, primarily for developing countries, and these include a new monograph for measles mass campaigns. Experience in the past decade with mass campaigns (primarily in developed countries) shows that measles vaccine performs in these settings as anticipated from pre- and post-licensure studies. Serious adverse events are rare, even under the increased scrutiny extended during a campaign. The experience in developing country settings is growing. The implementation of safety surveillance for mass campaigns offers a unique opportunity for countries to avoid crisis situations and to begin vaccine safety monitoring in routine immunization programs.