Kyrgyzstan: Vaccine safety monitoring is a shared responsibility

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WHO, with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has finalized a project on vaccine safety monitoring in Kyrgyzstan. The project provided support to the Kyrgyzstan government in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The project focused on adapting and implementing regulatory pathways and procedures to help the country prepare for public health emergencies. The project also strengthened the pharmacovigilance, monitoring and surveillance of adverse events following immunization (AEFI), and the investigation of severe AEFI registered after COVID-19 vaccination. 

Pharmacovigilance for all vaccines

In Kyrgyzstan, vaccine safety monitoring is a shared responsibility between the National Immunization Program, National Regulatory Authority for Medicines, and other stakeholders. One of the project’s achievements was the establishment of client follow-up and self-reporting systems on AEFI among national partners, including a surveillance, reporting, analysis and mitigation system for AEFIs.

Monitoring of AEFI against COVID-19 has been carried out since 29 March 2021. An electronic database for recording AEFI was developed. The AEFI database was integrated with the national electronic system for registering vaccinated persons. As a result, more than 2109 AEFI were registered in the system as of September 2022. The validated AEFI were also registered in the WHO database, known as VigiBase. 

Training health care workers nationwide 

More than 800 health care workers nationwide have been trained in the surveillance and reporting of adverse events following immunization against COVID-19 and pharmacovigilance. In addition, over 100 experts from the Department of Medicine and Medical Devices, under the Ministry of Health, have been trained in vaccines and medicines regulation, including in emergencies. 

Training was provided by recognized experts, including from the Eurasian Economic Union, and capacity-building training on causality assessment of adverse events following immunization and adverse drug reactions was also conducted.

Strengthening legislation, policy and coordination

The regulatory framework for the reporting, surveillance and monitoring of adverse events following immunization and the reporting and monitoring of adverse drug reactions were revised. The results of the procurement and supply chain management system assessment and the evaluation of the state drug policy for 2016–2020 were communicated. These are building the foundation for the future development of the strategy document on medicines, vaccines and medical devices regulation, including in emergencies. 

One of the main objectives was to build institutional capacity in vaccine deployment, management, and regulatory mechanisms, and to establish a coordination mechanism between relevant stakeholders for the exchange of COVID-19 vaccine safety information, which was achieved. In addition, key legislative documents and guidelines were developed under the leadership of the Ministry of Health to strengthen coordination for future activities.

Source : WHO