COVID-19 Vaccine Responses among African Canadians: Sustainability of Immune Responses and Safety Profiles.
The purpose of this study is to generate information on the safety profiles and immune responses of the COVID‑19 vaccines among African Canadians and other members from racialized communities in COVID‑19 hot zones in Ontario. While all persons from these communities will be studied, the main focus is on African Canadians, given data suggesting that they are disproportionately represented among COVID‑19 cases and severe outcomes. We will also determine the factors that might influence vaccine responses among the study population; these include existing medical conditions, socioeconomic and demographic factors. We plan to study 1000 persons who have received the COVID‑19 vaccines, including African as well as non-African Canadians. These persons will be enrolled from sites in Ontario. The project is facilitated by another that we are doing that determines the frequency of COVID‑19 antibodies among African compared with non-African Canadians. In addition to working with existing vaccine surveillance networks, we will be working closely with public health teams that are associated with each of the geographic areas from which we are enrolling persons. Vaccinated persons will be offered blood testing at 4 points over 12 months, in order to check the extent to which their immune systems respond to the vaccine. They will also be surveyed to determine the presence of adverse events following vaccination. To facilitate the project and actively engage the communities, we have established a community advisory group, consisting of persons from each of the main communities participating in the study. Ultimately, the data derived will provide useful information for individual participants and the population as a whole and will contribute to enhancing confidence in the importance and value of the vaccines among African Canadians and other members of racialized communities.