The challenges of the pandemic have been particularly acute for transplant recipients. As vaccination programs begin rolling out across the country, there remain many unanswered research questions about COVID-19 vaccination in this population, who were excluded from all of the initial clinical trials. Over the last few months, CDTRP has been working to connect, mobilize, and align our community to identify and address these urgent issues.

These discussions culminated in a large national research proposal (PRospective Evaluation of COVID-19 Vaccine in Transplant Recipients (PREVenT-COVID): A National Strategy) submitted to the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) for funding. Research teams in Vancouver, Edmonton, London, Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City, through a collaboration led by Dr. Deepali Kumar (University Health Network) and supported by the CDTRP network infrastructure, proposed a set of immunogenicity studies and a national safety surveillance study in transplant recipients.
We are delighted to share the news that we have been awarded funding by the CITF to undertake this work. As the work will move forward very quickly, given the pace of vaccination programs rolling out across the country, we will keep the community regularly informed of progress.

The national safety surveillance study will be conducted in partnership with the Canadian National Vaccine Safety (CANVAS). CANVAS is monitoring COVID-19 safety in the general public across Canada, with different regional approaches to recruitment, and a standardized set of REB-approved questionnaires.

You can download all the Workshop reports below.

On January 6, 2021, CDTRP convened an Expert Panel in the fields of solid organ and stem cell transplantation, transplant infectious diseases, immunization, public health, and patient partners to identify critical knowledge gaps around vaccination for COVID-19 in transplant recipients. The Panel produced a report that can be downloaded below.

Download the Expert Panel Report.

The Expert Panel report formed the backbone for the agenda of a National Stakeholder Workshop held January 29, 2021. We were delighted to have over 30 stakeholder organizations contribute, including the not-for-profit, government, and health care sectors, as well as public health, patients/families, and professional societies. The workshop focused on how to prioritize the research studied identified, assembling a Knowledge Generation Roadmap. The Workshop Report can be found below.

Download the National Stakeholder Workshop report.

On April 23, 2021, CDTRP hosted a National Workshop, focused on communication of research with patients and families, which included 18 patient, family, and donor partners and representatives from partner organizations with education or communications roles.

The workshop’s central objective was to develop consensus answers to two fundamental questions on COVID-19 vaccination in transplant participants:

  • As a transplant recipient or family member, what information do you need around COVID-19?
  • When, how, and where should that information be delivered?
Download the Communication of Research with Patients and Families Report.

On March 25, 2022, the CDTRP organized and hosted a National Forum, Emerging COVID-19 Issues in Transplantation. The objective of this Forum was to develop an agreement on a national research agenda to address the issues of immunocompromised patients who are at an increased risk of contracting severe COVID-19 disease. We were pleased that over 30 participants attended the Forum who were expert clinicians, scientists, stakeholders, patients, and families. This Forum’s report can be downloaded below.

Download the Post-Forum Report here.

National Prioritization Forums are held every six months, and the first Forum was held during CDTRP’s June 2023 Patient, Family, and Donor Research Forum, on June 9, 2023. This was the fifth National Forum hosted by CDTRP since 2021, with previous forums influencing the direction of TREAT-COVID and the PREVent-COVID-19 study.

The Forum’s attendees included patients, families, caregivers, health professionals, researchers, and clinicians. Together, they participated and identified the most urgent emerging research questions and issues confronting transplant patients, families, and caregivers.

Download the Prioritization Forum Report here.

TREAT-COVID’S 2nd National Prioritization Forums was held on December 6, 2023 during CDTRP’s Annual Scientific Meeting.

Summary: Early experience from our first site to begin recruitment has highlighted several and significant barriers to recruitment, including COVID-fatigue, questionnaire-related fatigue, participant, and study coordinator burden. Concerns have been raised how best to reach the target number of participants in order to achieve the study’s goals. The Forum provided a venue to engage with stakeholders in the transplant community, including patients, families, caregivers, clinicians, trainees, and researchers to address potential approaches to these barriers.

This was the sixth National Forum hosted by CDTRP since 2021, with previous forums influencing the direction of TREAT-COVID and the PREVent-COVID-19 study.

Download the full report here: ASM National Forum Emerging COVID-19 – Report_EN (1)