AEFI meaning. Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) is defined as any undesirable medical event that occurs after immunisation and might not necessarily have a direct link with the use of the vaccine Any unfavourable or unexpected sign, unusual test finding, symptom, or disease might be considered as an adverse event. AEFI is applicable to all vaccines on the market, which is highly beneficial and efficient in monitoring the recipient’s post-vaccination responses.
How Is AEFI Evaluated?
The majority of AEFI reports were mild, insignificant, and resolved in a few days. There are two main types of AEFI events, which are common, minor AEFI events and significant AEFI events. The common, minor cases accounted for up to 97 percent of the total AEFI documented. However, the risks for secondary adverse events are too minimal that it cannot be quantified or calculated.
Common And Minor AEFI
- Local Reactions – Individuals who have local reactions will exhibit minor AEFI symptoms such as pain, swelling, and redness.
- Systemic Reactions – Individuals who are impacted by systemic reactions will have symptoms such as fever, weakness, and lack of appetite.
AEFI consequences vary depending on the type of vaccination administered. After a specific amount of time following vaccination, the relevant AEFI symptoms are generally detectable. Allergic responses, as well as anaphylaxis reactions, are examples of severe AEFI consequences.
AEFI Hazard Evaluation In Practice
The systematic evaluation of data regarding an AEFI case to evaluate the possibility of a causal link between the occurrence and the vaccines received is known as causality assessment. To get at a causal probability in specific situations, one attempts to use the evidence available based on the event’s history and time period. The quality of this assessment is determined by:
- The reactivity, efficacy, and quality of investigations and reports of the AEFI reporting system.
- Appropriate medical and laboratory services available, as well as access to background information.
- The causative review process’s quality
An AEFI may be declared unclassifiable if data is insufficient or missing. It should be emphasised, however, that AEFI causation may be ambiguous due to a lack of convincing evidence for a direct relationship, contradictory trends, or inconsistency with causal association to vaccination. It is crucial not to dismiss the above AEFI reports since they may be regarded as a signal at some time and may lead to ideas on a link between a vaccine and the event in question, with particular studies aimed to test for a causal association. Data gathering on individual cases is quite beneficial in developing hypotheses.
For example, the Rotavirus vaccine, RotaShield, was approved for use in the United States in 1998. Initial clinical studies with the vaccine revealed that it was efficient in avoiding severe diarrhoea caused by rotavirus A, and no statistically significant major side effects were seen. However, once RotaShield was approved for use, some vaccinated newborns were reported to have intussusception AEFI. It wasn’t apparent at first if the intestinal blockages were caused by the vaccination or by anything else.
The findings of the studies revealed that the RotaShield vaccination caused intussusception in certain healthy infants less than 12 months of age who would ordinarily be at minimal risk for this disease. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the United States agreed on October 22, 1999, to discontinue the use of the RotaShield vaccination in newborns due to a connection between the vaccine and intussusception.
Hence, AEFI evaluation is important and beneficial for each vaccination programme, to improve the safety and efficacy of each vaccine available. Aims to provide better immunization in future, to improve quality of life.
Causality analysis does not generally show or refute a link between an occurrence and vaccination. It is intended to aid in establishing the degree of certainty of such a relationship. A precise causal link or absence of association for a single event is frequently impossible to demonstrate.
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