In December 2020, SciLifeLab and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW), announced a call for a national program studying the effects of COVID-19 vaccines. 24 proposals were submitted and now, the program is launched, with 10 projects approved for funding.
“We are very happy that we, together with KAW, are able to launch a national program on COVID-19 vaccine research, bringing the pre-eminent researchers together into a coordinated multidisciplinary national research program”, says Olli Kallioniemi, director of SciLifeLab.
“In both the situation we are in today, and for any future epidemics, it is important that we explore as many aspects of the virus as possible as well as all the possibilities to fight it. Because of this, the KAW Foundation has allocated a total of 235 MSEK for COVID-19 related initiatives, of which 53 MSEK goes to vaccination research, says Peter Wallenberg Jr, chairman of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.
The vaccines that are currently being deployed in Sweden have already undergone rigorous clinical testing and quality analysis, but it is still vital to investigate their impact on the population, by monitoring their molecular and immunological effects, their efficacy in subgroups of patients, and to explore possible unwanted effects.
“It is really important to understand the effects of the different COVID-19 vaccines in great detail and in different age groups. It is worth noting that we are announcing the results of the call today, only one month after the call closed. I want to thank our staff at the Operations Office, the expert peer reviewers and the SciLifeLab Board for a very fast turnaround time so that this important research can get started quickly” says Olli Kallioniemi.
The new program will focus on team science and rapid data sharing, so that the results can be of benefit to society and possibly the national vaccination program. All data (results, methods, sample availability etc.) will be shared through the national COVID-19 data portal coordinated by SciLifeLab, using FAIR (meaning that data should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) guidelines.
List of approved projects
Register-based large-scale national population study to monitor Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness and safety (RECOVAC), Fredrik Nyberg (University of Gothenburg).
The immunology of adverse events to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Petter Brodin (Karolinska Institutet).
The Stockholm 65PLUS cohort- A prospective longitudinal study of immune responses induced after Covid-19 vaccination, Anna-Lena Spetz (Stockholm University).
Impact of immune suppressants on Sars-CoV2 vaccination responses. Fredrik Piehl (Karolinska Institutet).
SARS-CoV-2 infections in relation to vaccination among healthcare workers of the Stockholm Region, Joakim Dillner (Karolinska Institutet).
Immune responses to COVID-19 vaccination in unexposed, previously infected and immunosuppressed individuals, Anna Lundgren (University of Gothenburg).
CoVASC- Covid Vaccination Antibody structural correlates, Johan Malmström (Lund University).
Covid-19 vaccination in immunocompromised individuals: An interdisciplinary framework to gain mechanistic insight into durable immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection, Soo Aleman (Karolinska Institutet).
Efficacy and immunogenicity of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in highly immunocompromised recipients of CAR T cell therapy and allogeneic stem cell transplantation, Karin Loré (Karolinska Institutet).
High Resolution Analysis of Vaccine-Induced Responses in SARS-CoV-2 Experienced Individuals, Mattias Forsell (Umeå University).