Members of the public are being asked to play an important role in completing the largest study of vaccine safety in Canadian history.
Jennifer Isenor, a researcher in the Faculty of Health, is a regional investigator on the study, which will examine adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines. Her role is engaging pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in recruiting people they vaccinate to participate in the study.
“We know that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are going to play a key role in the phased roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination, so it is critical they are on board with this project,” says Dr. Isenor, an associate professor in the College of Pharmacy (Faculty of Health) and the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology (Faculty of Medicine) as well as an investigator with the Canadian Center for Vaccinology. “Once again, this shows the value pharmacy teams bring as important members of the healthcare system.”
The vaccine project is being coordinated by investigators with the Canadian National Vaccine Safety (CANVAS) Network. CANVAS is seeking hundreds of thousands of participants, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, to take part in a web-based survey to document potential adverse reactions to the vaccines.
Data for a good cause
Tracking vaccine safety is important and will determine whether and how often any adverse reactions occur after COVID-19 vaccinations. The results will be released regularly and may be reassuring in providing additional data on the safety of the vaccines and helping those who are still unsure about vaccination to decide to be vaccinated.
Investigators want to enrol 400,000 participants per vaccine across Canada, in B.C., Yukon, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. They also aim to register a control group of approximately 50,000 unvaccinated participants to determine how often events similar to the adverse reactions reported amongst vaccinated people occur in the unvaccinated group.
Dr. Isenor, shown left, has been involved with engaging pharmacist involvement annually for a similar study involving flu shots since 2014. A founding member of the Pharmacists as Immunizers (PAI) Research Team, her research focuses on a variety of immunization-related topics, including various studies assessing the role and impact of pharmacists as immunizers and network surveillance of adverse events following immunization.
Study participants will be asked to complete online surveys eight days after they receive the first COVID-19 vaccine, another eight days after the second dose — if they receive one — and then a final survey six months after that.
To learn more about the study or to register, please visit: www.canvas-covid.ca
With files from the B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority
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