Nine new sites joined the DRIVE network via the annual tender during the year 2019. Let’s hear from them how do they see project and working with it.

What is VAHNSI?

VAHNSI is an active-surveillance hospital-based network for the study of influenza and other respiratory infectious diseases. VAHNSI has 10 years of experience and it is coordinated by the Vaccine Research Department of FISABIO – Public Health. VAHNSI joined DRIVE in 2017 and this is our third season in DRIVE.

Why do you consider the DRIVE project relevant to Public Health?

Vaccines are key to influenza prevention and their composition needs to be evaluated yearly. Although influenza vaccine effectiveness is annually analysed around Europe, no robust estimates have been obtained of the effectiveness by vaccine brand before DRIVE was formed.

How is DRIVE managing the contact with your site?

The contact with DRIVE is constant, we are properly informed, and our feeling is that we work together and not independently. DRIVE provides us support in relation to all aspects we need such as the data sharing process or the completion of surveys and forms about the development of the study.

How is the data sharing performed?

The anonymized database is uploaded to the ESSA platform at the end of the influenza season. ESSA is a secure platform with a user-friendly interface. A brief summary is provided to the user after a quick data quality check of the mandatory variables.

How does the governance model affect VAHNSI’s participation in the project? 

VAHNSI is coordinated by FISABIO, a Public Health foundation. Other organisations, universities and Public Health institutions are participating in DRIVE as well as several pharmaceutical companies. This governance model allows close collaboration between public and private partners and ensures the transparency of the study.

Overall, how would you rate your participation in the project? 

We are very happy to be involved in a project of the magnitude of DRIVE, with the visibility that this entails for VAHNSI. Together we are contributing to a better understanding of the effectiveness of the flu vaccine and, therefore, to the better development of future vaccines.

Ainara Mira-Iglesias VAHNSI Coordinator and Biostatistician in the Vaccine Research Department of FISABIO-Public Health

The new sites that joined during the year 2019 were visited by the coordinators asked for their feedback. According to the feedback the work conducted by the DRIVE network is of utmost importance and they recommend new sites for joining the project. Developing the processes as the data standardization should be developed further, the sites tell – and this work has taken major steps again during this season, based on the feedback by the different stakeholders.

The full potential of the platform and the governance model developed by the DRIVE project will be reached by expanding the network further. The DRIVE consortium is looking forward to welcoming new partners for the season 2020/2021.