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.PN
In 1980, human diploid cell vaccine (HDCV, Imovax Rabies, Sanofi Pasteur), was licensed for use in the United States.
To assess adverse events (AEs) after HDCV reported to the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a spontaneous reporting surveillance system.
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.
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.
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.