Health Risks

In Canada, monitoring of vaccine adverse events is done via two systems. One, named Immunization Monitoring Program ACTive (IMPACT) is administered by the Canadian Paediatric Society with funding from the Immunization and Respiratory Infections Division of the Public Health Agency of Canada. According to the Society’s website, IMPACT “is a paediatric hospital-based national active surveillance network for adverse events following immunization, vaccine failures and selected infectious diseases in children that are, or are soon to be, vaccine preventable.” Notice the conflicting agenda: monitoring disease to enable vaccine promotion and, at the same time, monitoring vaccine adverse events.

The second part of vaccine monitoring is performed by the Canadian Adverse Event Following Immunization Surveillance System (CAEFISS) which, up to May, 2005, was called The Vaccine Associated Adverse Events Surveillance System. The CAEFISS web page explains, “This new name is in harmony with international standards and emphasizes that reported events follow immunization but are not necessarily associated with vaccine.” VRAN wishes to interject that it should also be emphasized that apparent vaccine efficacy including antibody response and disease decline, may follow vaccination but is not necessarily due to vaccine. The web page continues, “CAEFISS is a voluntary system (with the exception of four provinces, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Quebec, that have mandatory reporting requirements) in which health care providers…report to local, provincial and/or territorial public health authorities events they feel are temporally associated with an immunization.” (emphasis ours)

Once this rather uncoordinated surveillance data from CAEFISS is received locally, it is supposedly forwarded to the Public Health Agency of Canada to be “stored in a computerized web-enabled Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) database at the Agency.”

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