First face-to-face COVIDRIVE Steering Committee meeting

On November 14th and 15th, 2022, the city of Valencia became the epicentre of COVIDRIVE Partnership discussions. The members of the COVIDRIVE Steering Committee (SC) connected to share the vaccine company-specific COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness interim results, to review all progress made and to brainstorm about vaccination preparedness and sustainability of the COVIDRIVE consortium. The group met at the Hotel Las Arenas and went through a packed two-day agenda.

Day 1, the COVIDRIVE SC was accompanied by of the COVIDRIVE Independent Scientific Committee (ISC) and representatives of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Discussions were centred around the achievements of the consortium, including a presentation by AstraZeneca and Janssen on their interim vaccine effectiveness results, the present and future European regulatory context for vaccine effectiveness evaluation, and how COVIDRIVE can support vaccination preparedness.

Kaat Bollaerts (P95) presenting the COVIDRIVE study platform and ongoing data collection

Gabrielle Breugelmans (ISC member): “The Covid-19 pandemic has created a unique set of circumstances where time and speed were of the essence. Leveraging on the DRIVE network for flu, the public-private partnership COVIDRIVE has now started to publish its first brand-specific vaccine effectiveness results in Europe. With its independent scientific oversight and governance core principles of transparency and promotion of open data, the partnership can function as a good model for other respiratory diseases with epidemic and pandemic potential”

Luca Giraldi (EMA) presenting EMA’s activities and initiatives for vaccine effectiveness monitoring

Day 2 was only attended by the COVIDRIVE SC members, who took the opportunity to consolidate the discussions of the previous day and co-create an action plan aiming to turn ambition into reality.

Kaatje Bollaerts (P95 SC member and Co-Coordinator): “I’m so proud to be able to say that COVIDRIVE is the first initiative to demonstrate that a cross-company public private partnership can successfully fulfil regulatory commitments in Europe. Such partnerships are key to accelerate vaccine development and to cope with future pandemics. In collaboration we trust!”.

Group picture of COVIDRIVE partners at the meeting venue