26 September 2023

Researchers draw blood on COVID secrets

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Victorians are being called on to roll up their sleeves and donate blood for a research initiative into COVID-19.

Leading the call, Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and Digital Economy, Jaala Pulford said researchers for the Victorian COVID-19 Vaccinees Collection biobank were seeking volunteers to provide blood samples in between their vaccine doses.

Ms Pulford said the biobank would provide critical insights into the effectiveness of vaccines, the long-term effects of COVID-19 and help experts prepare for new strains of coronavirus.

“Any Victorian who is due to receive their third dose is eligible and donors to the biobank will provide five blood samples over a two-year period, including shortly before and soon after their third dose, then at regular intervals through to 2024,” she said.

“Researchers are seeking up to 1500 donors and are after a strong cross section of the population.

“The elderly, people living with HIV, healthcare workers, people who’ve been infected with coronavirus and those who are immunocompromised, are strongly encouraged to apply.”

Ms Pulford said the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Doherty Institute would house the biobank and lead the project, with seven Victorian health and medical research institutions to participate in the rollout.

The Minister said the project was funded through the State’s COVID-19 Research Fund.

“This new biobank will be a key part of managing coronavirus going forward while allowing researchers to monitor the effects of vaccines and prepare for any new strains,” she said.

Further information on donating to the biobank can be accessed at this PS News link.

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