Passive reporting of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) by consumers or healthcare professionals is the primary mechanism for post-marketing surveillance of vaccine safety. Although recent initiatives have promoted consumer reporting, there is a lack of research concerning consumer reporters. Computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI) were conducted in 2011 of a cross-sectional, random, general population sample of 191 South Australian parents who stated that their children had previously experienced an AEFI. We compared awareness of surveillance, vaccine safety opinions, and demographics of parents reporting an AEFI to either healthcare professionals or surveillance authorities with those who did not report their children's AEFI. Multivariate regression analyses measured: the association between reporting and safety views; and demographic predictors of reporting an AEFI. Reporting an AEFI to a healthcare professional or a surveillance authority was not significantly associated with awareness of a surveillance system. AEFI reporters, when compared with non-reporters, were more likely to be Australian-born (OR = 4.58, [1.64, 12.78], P = 0.004); were associated with the perception that a serious reaction was more likely to occur at their children's last immunization (OR = 2.54 [95%CI 1.22, 5.30], P = 0.013); and were less accepting of the risk of febrile convulsion, (OR = 3.59 [95%CI 1.50, 8.57], P = 0.004). Although reporting an AEFI was not associated with awareness of surveillance or most socio-demographics, the results suggest some difference in safety opinions. Further studies are required to ascertain if these differences pre-date the occurrence of an AEFI or are a consequence of the AEFI and how consumers can contribute further to vaccine safety surveillance.
- Adverse event following immunization
- Health survey
- Vaccine safety attitudes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy