Journal article

Adverse Events Following a Mass Yellow Fever Immunization Campaign — Kongo Central Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, September 2016

On April 23, 2016, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Ministry of Health reported an outbreak of yellow fever. As of May 24, 2016, among 41 confirmed yellow fever cases, 31 (75.6%) had occurred in Kongo Central Province, in the western part of the country bordering Angola (1), where a large yellow outbreak had begun in December 2015. In response, during May 25–June 7, 2016, the DRC Ministry of Health administered approximately 240,000 doses of yellow fever vaccine to all persons aged ≥9 months during a mass vaccination campaign in Matadi, one of 31 health zones in the Kongo Central Province. The administrative vaccination coverage (i.e., the number of vaccine doses administered divided by the most recent census estimates for the target population), was estimated to have reached >99%. During the campaign, health workers in the Matadi Health Zone were trained to identify adverse events following immunization (AEFIs), complete case report forms, and send forms weekly to both provincial officials and a national expert committee for vaccine pharmacovigilance. Although a provisional classification of AEFIs by severity is made at peripheral and provincial levels at the time of an initial investigation, responsibilities at the national level are to guide the investigation of suspected serious AEFIs, classify them according to standard AEFI cause–specific definitions, recommend additional testing of biologic specimens if warranted, and determine causality. Because identification of AEFIs through passive surveillance is limited by low reporting rates in Kongo Central Province (estimated <50%), active surveillance (review of hospital records and interviews with health care personnel) for AEFIs after receipt of yellow fever vaccine was piloted in the Matadi Health Zone after the campaign. Results obtained through active surveillance were compared with the results from the existing routine passive AEFI reporting system integrated into the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), which was established in the late 1970s to ensure that infants/children and mothers have access to routinely recommended vaccines.


  • English

Publication year







Journal article


  • Service delivery


  • Yellow fever


  • Congo


  • AEFI
  • Coverage monitoring

WHO Regions

  • African Region

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Added on: 2017-04-21 05:56:54

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