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© 2020 Introduction: The public-private ADVANCE consortium (Accelerated development of vaccine benefit-risk collaboration in Europe) aimed to assess if electronic healthcare databases can provide fit-for purpose data for collaborative, distributed studies and monitoring of vaccine coverage, benefits and risks of vaccines. Objective: To evaluate if European healthcare databases can be used to estimate vaccine coverage, benefit and/or risk using pertussis-containing vaccines as an example. Methods: Characterisation was conducted using open-source Java-based (Jerboa) software and R scripts. We obtained: (i) The general characteristics of the database and data source (meta-data) and (ii) a detailed description of the database population (size, representatively of age/sex of national population, rounding of birth dates, delay between birth and database entry), vaccinations (number of vaccine doses, recording of doses, pattern of doses by age and coverage) and events of interest (diagnosis codes, incidence rates). A total of nine databases (primary care, regional/national record linkage) provided data on events (pertussis, pneumonia, death, fever, convulsions, injection site reactions, hypotonic hypo-responsive episode, persistent crying) and vaccines (acellular pertussis and whole cell pertussis) related to the pertussis proof of concept studies. Results: The databases contained data for a total population of 44 million individuals. Seven databases had recorded doses of vaccines. The pertussis coverage estimates were similar to those reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Incidence rates of events were comparable in magnitude and age-distribution between databases with the same characteristics. Several conditions (persistent crying and somnolence) were not captured by the databases for which outcomes were restricted to hospital discharge diagnoses. Conclusion: The database characterisation programs and workflows allowed for an efficient, transparent and standardised description and verification of electronic healthcare databases which may participate in pertussis vaccine coverage, benefit and risk studies. This approach is ready to be used for other vaccines/events to create readiness for participation in other vaccine related studies.

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