After being awarded $8 million NZD by a US health agency, University of Auckland scientists will undertake the world’s biggest vaccine study, monitoring three hundred million people’s post-vaccination reactions.
The University of Auckland is due to coordinate the largest vaccine monitoring study regarding the outcomes, risks and efficacy rates of various COVID-19 vaccines. The university has been given nearly $8 million NZD to conduct the study, awarded by the United States national public health agency the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Three hundred million people from around the world will be involved as participants in the study, with more countries’ populations expecting to enter the study as it progresses.
Through the use of data mining, researchers will assess adverse post-vaccination reactions, with the intention that unanticipated reactions can be predicted within populations. It further expands on the current vaccine research completed by the university’s Faculty of Medical and Health Science. The present research explores different reactions to numerous vaccines both COVID-19 related and unrelated, whilst also studying various New Zealanders attitudes towards immunisation vaccines.
The study will be done through the Global Vaccine Data Network (GVDN), which for the past three years has been a leading network in vaccine monitoring. Co-director of GVDN and principal investigator of the projector, Associate Professor Helen Petousis-Harris, states on the University of Auckland’s website that “many new COVID-19 vaccines require global, centralised surveillance to detect any very rare vaccine safety issues and to allow ongoing risk-benefit assessments”. Petousis-Harris is the former chair of the World Health Organization’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety.
The project will collaborate with international health organisations and national agencies globally. University of Cincinnati Professor Steve Black states on the University of Auckland’s website that “through its scale, transparency, timeliness and open communication, it will contribute to vaccine confidence around the world”.