Introduction: Information regarding availability of electronic healthcare databases in the Asia-Pacific region is critical for planning vaccine safety assessments particularly, as COVID-19 vaccines are introduced. This study aimed to identify data sources in the region, potentially suitable for vaccine safety surveillance. This manuscript is endorsed by the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE). Methods: Nineteen countries targeted for database reporting were identified using published country lists and review articles. Surveillance capacity was assessed using two surveys: a 9-item introductory survey and a 51-item full survey. Survey questions related to database characteristics, covariate and health outcome variables, vaccine exposure characteristics, access and governance, and dataset linkage capability. Other questions collated research/regulatory applications of the data and local publications detailing database use for research. Results: Eleven databases containing vaccine-specific information were identified across 8 countries. Databases were largely national in coverage (8/11, 73%), encompassed all ages (9/11, 82%) with population size from 1.4 to 52 million persons. Vaccine exposure information varied particularly for standardized vaccine codes (5/11, 46%), brand (7/11, 64%) and manufacturer (5/11, 46%). Outcome data were integrated with vaccine data in 6 (55%) databases and available via linkage in 5 (46%) databases. Data approval processes varied, impacting on timeliness of data access. Conclusions: Variation in vaccine data availability, complexities in data access including, governance and data release approval procedures, together with requirement for data linkage for outcome information, all contribute to the challenges in building a distributed network for vaccine safety assessment in the Asia-Pacific and globally. Common data models (CDMs) may help expedite vaccine safety research across the region.
- electronic medical records
- healthcare database