Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Medical Sciences


This article originally published as: Wang, Y., Wu, L., Yu, X., Zhao, F., Russell, A., Song, M., & Wang, W. (2013). The expected number of background disease events during mass immunization in China. PLos One, 8(8), e71818. Original article available here


It is critical to distinguish events that are temporarily associated with, but not caused by, vaccination from those caused by vaccination during mass immunization. We performed a literature search in China National Knowledge Infrastructure and Pubmed databases. The number of coincident events was calculated based on its incidence rate and periods after receipt of a dose of hypothesized vaccine. We included background incidences of Guillain-Barre´ syndrome, anaphylaxis, seizure, sudden adult death syndrome, sudden cardiac death, spontaneous abortion, and preterm labour or delivery. In a cohort of 10 million individuals, 7.71 cases of Guillain-Barre´ syndrome would be expected to occur within six weeks of vaccination as coincident background cases. Even for rare events, a large number of events can be expected in a short period because of the large population targeted for immunization. These findings may encourage health authorities to screen the safety of vaccines against unpredictable pathogens.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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