NSW invests $4.5 million to study effects of coronavirus vaccines

A new coronavirus research project could improve our understanding on the efficacy of vaccines on variant strains of the dangerous virus.

NSW will invest more than $4.5 million in a new project to research the health outcomes resulting from coronavirus vaccinations.

Chief health officer Kerry Chant said the state would be well suited in a global context to look at the effects of the new vaccines because the majority of residents have not been infected with the coronavirus.

“With the vaccination rollout now well underway, this surveillance and real-world research will continue to arm us with timely and robust data to ensure the very best outcomes for the people of NSW, and help us navigate the path ahead,” Dr Chant said in a statement.

“It places us in a strong position and will inform a vaccine policy that can respond to emerging issues and opportunities, and the future development and trialling of next generation vaccines.

“We’re continuing to learn throughout this pandemic and this research will allow us to advise on immunisation schedules, including the potential need for any booster vaccinations for vulnerable groups and the broader community.”

The Vaccine, Infection and Immunology Collaborative Research Group (VIIM) will receive the funding from the state government over three years.

The experts who make up the group come from several different universities, hospitals, research institutes and government agencies.

The University of NSW, NSW Health Pathology, and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network are among the institutions contributing to the project.

The funding will be taken out of a $25 million coronavirus research fund that the government had previously announced.

“This research will also establish an invaluable biobank of specimens which will be crucial to current and future research to keep the people of NSW healthy and protected from infectious disease,” Dr Chant said.

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