Researchers from Vancouver Spearhead Study on COVID-19 Vaccine’s Effectiveness for Treating People with HIV

Researchers from Vancouver are assisting in the development of a national study to see how effective COVID-19 vaccinations are in HIV patients.

HIV-positive patients are less likely to have a strong immune response to popular vaccines, according to researchers, and may require greater doses or more booster shots to be protected.

When do people with HIV have to get the booster shot — or are they never fully protected? Those are the questions that the new study, led by the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN) in Vancouver, will attempt to address.

In Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa, researchers will enroll 400 HIV-positive patients and test their blood for COVID-19 antibodies before and after immunization.

Researchers will focus on the most vulnerable people living with HIV, according to study leader Aslam Anis, a professor at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health and Canadian director of the CTN.

A second part of the $2.6 million studies will evaluate vaccination effectiveness by looking at the health records of more than 30,000 HIV-positive persons in B.C. and Ontario.

Mandarino and the other 67,000 Canadians living with HIV, some of whom he claims are still suspicious about the vaccination, will be relieved to hear those answers.

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