Help make vaccines better for everyone by reporting suspected side effects – #MedSafetyWeek 2021

News Category: Regulatory news

Date: 01/11/2021

This #MedSafetyWeek we remind healthcare professionals and members of the public to report suspected side effects to the HPRA

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) launches a weeklong social media campaign to promote the importance of reporting suspected side effects following vaccination.

Taking place from 1–7 November 2021, the sixth annual #MedSafetyWeek social media campaign will focus on vaccines. Medicines agencies from 64 countries will be encouraging healthcare professionals, as well as patients, their carers and families, to report problems experienced with vaccines including COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccines are the best way to protect individuals against infectious diseases. Vaccines against multiple diseases have saved millions of lives worldwide. As with all medicines, side effects can happen. Side effects are not experienced by everyone and the majority of side effects are mild or moderate. Reporting suspected side effects helps to identify new side effects and gain more information about known side effects.

Every report counts, so the advice to everyone is not to delay reporting or wait for someone else to report their suspicions. Healthcare professionals administering vaccines are especially encouraged to discuss side effects with patients and to be vigilant for new or rare suspected side effects with vaccines.

Sinead Curran, Director of Human Products Monitoring, HPRA, says:

"This campaign comes at a crucial time when millions of people in Ireland have been administered a COVID-19 vaccine, reminding us of how important all vaccines are in protecting the public against infectious diseases. Reporting suspected side effects plays a key role in supporting the HPRA monitor the safe use of vaccines. Every report counts and helps make vaccines better for everyone."

Notes to Editor

  1. National medicines regulatory authorities from 64 countries across the globe and their stakeholders will be taking part in this international campaign led by Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC), the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring. The campaign is supported by members of the Heads of Medicines Agencies (HMA) and the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA). The #MedSafetyWeek 2021 project team consists of representatives from the following organisations working collaboratively: Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (UK) as co-lead, Egypt Chapter of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance (ISoP Egypt), the Health Products Regulatory Authority (Ireland), and the Food and Drugs Authority (Ghana).

  2. The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) regulates medicines and devices for the benefit of people and animals. It is committed to excellence in health product regulation through science, collaboration and innovation. The products under its remit include human and veterinary medicines, medical devices, blood and blood components, tissues and cells, organs for transplantation, and cosmetics.

  3. Members of the public and healthcare professionals can report side effects to the HPRA. To report side effects from COVID-19 vaccines, use the COVID-19 Vaccine Adverse Reaction Form. To report side effects from other vaccines, use the Human Medicines Adverse Reaction Form.

  4. Patients are advised to contact a healthcare professional if they are worried about their health.

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