A STUDY looking into to help understand people’s experiences after being vaccinated for coronavirus is looking for volunteers.
Thousands of volunteers are being requested by the VAC4COVID study, led by The University of Dundee.
People are needed to take part in VAC4COVID to detect if there are any unexpected, rare conditions linked to vaccination.
The study has been launched by the University’s Medicines Monitoring Unit (MEMO Research) to help ensure vaccines work as they should.
Participants will be asked to provide information about their health before and after vaccination.
Members of the public are invited to sign up on the VAC4COVID study website, which provides a user-friendly way to report diagnoses and symptoms.
Those who sign-up will be contacted at regular intervals before and after vaccination to check on their health.
The research is aiming to find out more abut peoples health experiences with the vaccine to help support public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.
Project leader Professor Tom MacDonald said:“New medical conditions, like heart problems, and neurological diagnoses, occur all the time, whether people are vaccinated or not.
“The difficulty for medicines regulators is to know how many new conditions are related to vaccination and how many would have happened anyway.
“For this reason, we want to be able to track medical events both before and after vaccination, as well as in unvaccinated people.
“Another challenge is determining exactly what medical condition a person is reporting. People may describe the same symptoms in different ways.
“Many of the most feared possible side-effects are related to the neurological or immune systems, but the symptoms reported by patients may not be easily linked to a diagnosis.
“We will contact participants’ doctors and review their medical notes if they report concerning symptoms or diagnoses.
“This will allow us to confirm possible side-effects and maintain the quality of the study.”
People who do not plan to get vaccinated are encouraged take part to enable researchers to gauge whether medical conditions are coincidental or a result of the vaccination.
Professor Isla Mackenzie, deputy director of MEMO Research, added, “Asking people to report their own medical events in our previous study of swine flu-vaccination worked very well and most participants reported no problems with their health.
“This information, provided by both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, helped immensely with the assessment of swine flu vaccine safety.
“Studies like VAC4COVID are crucial to understanding how to maximise safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination programmes.
“Better understanding of these vaccines will support greater public confidence in vaccination.”