Is vaccine hesitancy justified? Benchmarking post-market vaccine risks with five commonly used medicinal products in Canada
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OBJECTIVE: Although vaccines are one of the most cost-effective, low-risk healthcare approaches that save thousands of lives every year, paradoxical fear about vaccine safety is a major roadblock for achieving widespread vaccination coverage. The objective of this study is to change public perception of vaccine safety by presenting real-world incidence of adverse events following immunization (AEFIs). METHODS: In this study, we used Canadian post-market adverse events data to estimate the real-world risk of AEFI and benchmarked them against five commonly used drug types-ACE inhibitors, beta2 adrenergic receptors, penicillins, proton pump inhibitors, and HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. RESULTS: Our analysis shows that post-market AEFIs are rare, and vaccination generally carries a significantly lower risk compared to some commonly used medicinal product types. CONCLUSION: Despite some limitations with using post-trial adverse events data, we believe that the evidence presented in this study, especially the comparative risk analysis between vaccines and medicinal products, when communicated through proper channels, can help vaccine-hesitant individuals overcome their perceived safety concerns with regard to vaccines.
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