Researchers from Simon Fraser University (a public research university in British Columbia, Canada) is set to begin a new pandemic-related study comparing vaccine effectiveness in people living with HIV and those who do not have the condition. The study is part of a larger research initiative called COVAXHIV to date to evaluate the immunogenicity, safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in a diverse population of people living with HIV.
Researchers said that they would follow 35,000 people living with HIV in British Columbia (B.C.) and Ontario and track the COVID-19 vaccine uptake and rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection and hospitalizations. The research is led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN) and research collaborators from across Canada.
The researchers pointed out that earlier research had found that most existing vaccines require higher or additional doses to provide optimal protection for those who are living with HIV. Researchers said that they will now investigate whether the same is true of COVID-19 vaccines.
They also added that The research will focus on those who have already received their first vaccine dose, or have already had COVID-19. Researchers said that it is crucial that diverse priority populations are studied to understand the efficacy and safety of the vaccines.
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said: “COVID-19 has had significant health and social impacts on all people in Canada, but the negative impacts have been greater for vulnerable populations, including those living with and affected by HIV. This study will help inform Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, supporting the development of more effective immunization and public health strategies for vulnerable and diverse Canadians living with HIV.”