Dr. Sasha Bernatsky

The COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) and Vaccine Surveillance Reference Group (VSRG) are supporting a nationwide study, directed by Dr. Sasha Bernatsky,  that will assess COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness, safety and vaccine hesitancy in this potentially vulnerable group of people.

The project involves a multi-institutional, multidisciplinary research team, who are recruiting across Canada, which also includes Dr. Carol Hitchon from the University of Manitoba, Dr. Vinod Chandran from the University of Toronto, and Dr. Dawn Bowdish from McMaster University.

These diseases involve chronic inflammation and require immunosuppressive drugs. These drugs can control symptoms and prevent organ damage, but can also lessen immune responses to vaccination. Patients, doctors and decision-makers also need to know if the drugs people with IMID are on can affect their response to COVID vaccination. We also need estimates of adverse events and other problems, including triggering a flare of their disease. –Dr. Sasha Bernatsky

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