A team of Quebec researchers is conducting a study to detect the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines administered in Quebec.
Its goal is to observe 50,000 patients to ensure that the vaccines currently administered are safe and to list common side effects. It is not intended to determine the effectiveness of vaccines.
This study led by Dr. Louis Valiquette, microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at the Fleurimont Hospital of the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS and researcher at the CHUS Research Center (CRCHUS), began in mid-January.
Nearly 15,000 respondents have already taken part by testifying about their symptoms – or not – via the platform Health Click, 8 days before and 8 days after receiving the vaccine.
“It is very preliminary but the vaccine seems safe, we have not received a big alarm signal, but we are only at the beginning of the study”, said Dr Louis Valiquette in scrum this morning.
The expert explained that the clinical trials carried out prior to the marketing of vaccines do not always allow their side effects to be detected, in particular because they are not necessarily carried out on groups representative of the entire population.
“Clinical trials are an artificial context where the population is not as well represented, so this additional research, which is also called the ‘surveillance phase’ is always suggested,” he said.
So far, the rate of vaccinated people who have agreed to respond to this study is around 75%, which suggests that the objectives of surveying 50,000 patients will be quickly achieved and even exceeded.
The results observed will be communicated as they arise.
“I think this study will also reassure people reluctant to get vaccinated, because several myths persist about the side effects of the vaccine given that it is new. There is nothing better than data based on the entire population for reassurance. ” – Dr Louis Valiquette, microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at the Fleurimont Hospital of the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS and researcher at the CHUS Research Center (CRCHUS)
This research project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. It is subsidized for at least a year but could be extended, depending on the number of vaccines to be administered in the country and the speed of their dissemination.