VacSafe WG

As of Spring 2023, the VacSafe WG project has concluded. The Principal Investigator, Dr. Wilmot James, is now at Brown University. He is a Senior Advisor to the Brown Pandemic Center, and a Professor of the Practice of Health Services, Policy and Practice.



The Vaccine Safety and Confidence-Building Working Group (VacSafe WG) will catalyze and support projects that generate, scale and analyze actively-collected vaccine safety surveillance and pharmaco-vigilance data in Africa.

The aim is to monitor adverse events to help clinicians intervene if necessary to save lives and increase public trust and confidence in vaccines through the rigorous collection and dissemination of this data . Not only are these capabilities a crucial priority if COVID-19 is to be vanquished on the continent,  they will also be essential infrastructure for future pandemics and rapid vaccination campaigns. To be successful, such projects will require considerable amounts of public, institutional, and corporate funding. VacSafe WG will help surface and support projects with the potential to scale through seed funding that can be leveraged for additional support.

This working group is based at Columbia University’s Center for Pandemic Research at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, working in collaboration with the Program in Vaccine Education at the Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons; and the Medical Research Council Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (VIDA) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. The working group receives additional funding and support from Schmidt Futures.