On 29 April 2021, members of the Columbia-WITS-Schmidt Futures Vaccine Safety and Confidence-Building Working Group (VacSafe WG) held an inaugural meeting to discuss the working group’s overall purpose and goals. The meeting was divided into three sections with presentations and discussions focusing on (1) Goals of the Vaccine Safety and Confidence Building Program and an Overview of Current Vaccine Safety and Confidence-Building Efforts; (2) Collecting and Validating Vaccine Safety and Confidence Data; and (3) Utilizing the Collected Data.
On 27 May 2021, the VacSafe WG held its second meeting to discuss post-market surveillance strategies for vaccine safety and best practices for data collection and communication with the public. The purpose of these discussions was to identify the qualities a vaccine safety monitoring program and communication mechanism should possess.
On 24 June 2021, the VacSafe WG met to determine the next steps for developing pilot projects in South Africa and Zimbabwe. During the meeting, working group members explored potential financial and technological partnerships for both the pilot and future projects. The WG also discussed the human resources and infrastructure required to establish and maintain a post-market vaccine monitoring program as a permanent component of epidemic/pandemic responses.