Post-Marketing Surveillance of Human Rabies Diploid Cell Vaccine (Imovax) in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in the United States, 1990‒2015.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 07 ;10(7):e0004846. Epub 2016 Jul 13. PMID: 27410239
Pedro L Moro
BACKGROUND: In 1980, human diploid cell vaccine (HDCV, Imovax Rabies, Sanofi Pasteur), was licensed for use in the United States.
OBJECTIVE: To assess adverse events (AEs) after HDCV reported to the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a spontaneous reporting surveillance system.
METHODS: We searched VAERS for US reports after HDCV among persons vaccinated from January 1, 1990-July 31, 2015. Medical records were requested for reports classified as serious (death, hospitalization, prolonged hospitalization, disability, life-threatening-illness), and those suggesting anaphylaxis and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). Physicians reviewed available information and assigned a primary clinical category to each report using MedDRA system organ classes. Empirical Bayesian (EB) data mining was used to identify disproportional AE reporting after HDCV.
RESULTS: VAERS received 1,611 reports after HDCV; 93 (5.8%) were serious. Among all reports, the three most common AEs included pyrexia (18.2%), headache (17.9%), and nausea (16.5%). Among serious reports, four deaths appeared to be unrelated to vaccination.
CONCLUSIONS: This 25-year review of VAERS did not identify new or unexpected AEs after HDCV. The vast majority of AEs were non-serious. Injection site reactions, hypersensitivity reactions, and non-specific constitutional symptoms were most frequently reported, similar to findings in pre-licensure studies.