Canadian National Vaccine Safety Network (CANVAS) Influenza Safety Surveillance

Canadian National Vaccine Safety Network (CANVAS)

Each year, the Canadian National Vaccine Safety Network (CANVAS) quickly gathers safety information on the seasonal influenza vaccine and provides it to public health authorities.  Over 20,000 individuals participate in this web-based active surveillance each year, providing an ability to detect events occurring at a rate of less than 1 in 1,000.

Participants received a short electronic survey 8 days after vaccination. The main outcome is the occurrence of any new health problem or the exacerbation of an existing condition that is severe enough to cause work or school absenteeism/prevent daily activities or to require medical consultation. Medically attended events are followed up by telephone for additional details.

Participating immunization providers give a short explanation of the network and provide an information sheet to interested participants. Interested individuals are able to self-enroll at the time of influenza vaccination.

For the 2015 season over 40,000 adults and parents of children were enrolled. The response rate was 66% in the vaccinated group and 45% in the control (unvaccinated) group.  Parents of children 6 months to 16 years of age accounted for 10% of participants.  No safety signals were detected.  Events reported in vaccinated participants were similar to those reported in unvaccinated participants.

For more information about the network please contact:

Julie Bettinger: