RIVM launches major study into long-term effects of covid vaccines
The RIVM has launched a study into the long-term effectiveness of the various Covid-19 vaccines used in the Netherlands. The Coronavirus Vaccination Study (VASCO) aims to provide insight into how effective different vaccines are across all age groups, as well as how long protection from these vaccines lasts.
Anyone who lives in the Netherlands and is between 18 and 85 years old can participate in the study, the public health agency stated. During the study, up to 50 thousand residents who signed up for the study through the RIVM’s website will be monitored for five years. This research will try to gain insight into the effectiveness of the vaccines in practice and will be able to compare the different vaccines across the general population and various risk groups.
During the study, data will be collected through an online questionnaire, and a self-taken blood test. This is necessary in order to take into account differences between people who have been vaccinated and who have not been vaccinated against the disease, and to determine whether a participant has previously been infected with the coronavirus, the organization explained.
The RIVM said that all approved Covid-19 vaccines have been tested for effectiveness and safety prior to registration. Due to the newness of both the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the vaccines that are currently used against it, further research is necessary to gain more insight into their long-term effects.
"In pre-registration studies, limited research is conducted into the effect of the vaccines in risk groups, such as the elderly or people with underlying diseases. Studies to monitor the (long-term) effectiveness of the vaccines in practice and to be able to compare the different vaccines are therefore necessary," RIVM stated.
The research carried out by the RIVM in collaboration with Julius Clinical and the UMC Utrecht is said to be the first study for which the entire population has been invited to participate in such a short period of time.
In addition to those who sign up to take part in the study via the website, a number of randomly selected people will also receive an invitation letter to participate in the coming weeks.