Project CoVaST

CoVaST – Global

To fight vaccine hesitancy and bring reliable data on vaccine safety, the global consortium of CoVaST was formed in 2020. It is a common initiative of Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI), Cochrane, Guidelines International Network (G-I-N), and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) centers around the world, and is led by Czech National Centre for Evidence-Based Healthcare and Knowledge Translation (CEBHC-KT) at Masaryk University.

CoVaST Global is a global consortium of independent researchers and research institutions with the aim to bring independent evidence on COVID-19 Safety Tracking globally.

The researchers are being called upon to provide more real-world data on the vaccine effectiveness and safety after the vaccines have been approved for use. Independent (non-sponsored) studies with rigorous methods are crucial in the pharmacovigilance efforts of COVID-19 vaccines globally.

Given their independent nature and transparent design, these studies play a key role in suppressing vaccine hesitancy levels by enhancing public confidence in the vaccines. We are running a multicentre prospective cross-sectional and cohort studies to monitor the short-term and long-term side effects of COVID-19 vaccines. This will be the first to evaluate the longterm safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

The study using an online self-administered questionnaire for several target groups: healthcare workers, pedagogical workers and academics, university students, minors (up to 18 years old), senior citizens, and pregnant and breastfeeding women, who have received at least one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.

The main aim of the project is to assess the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in several target populations. Among the secondary aims is the exploration of any associations between the particular vaccine dose and side effects, the determination of the effectiveness of the vaccines, cross-comparison of the data across several countries in the world, across several target groups, and across the vaccine types.

While COVID-19 mass vaccination strategies need to be accelerated to minimise daily fatalities and relieve the economic burdens of the pandemic, vaccine hesitancy remains a serious challenge for these efforts, a challenge also related to the availability of independent and trustworthy scientific evidence of the vaccine safety. Therefore, providing more data and honest, independent information on the vaccine side effects to the public are vital strategies to improve vaccine uptake.

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