The DRIVE Project bids farewell after 5 prolific years with its final Annual Forum, which took place in Brussels (and virtually) on the 8th of June, 2022. The agenda included two main sessions: a public roundtable titled “The benefits of Public-Private Partnership generated RWE for vaccine monitoring” and poster presentations on DRIVE key assets and lessons learnt. More details on the agenda can be found here.

The final event was also streamed online, allowing a large audience to be present both in person and in the virtual platform. A great variety of stakeholders joined the event, including several National Public health institutes and regulatory agencies, EMA, Vaccine Europe, IMI/IHI, European Commission, Research institutes, Academia, Patient associations and vaccines companies, among many others.

Prof Javier Díez Domingo, Head of the Vaccine Research Department of FISABIO and Coordinator of the DRIVE project, commented: “The final DRIVE event was a great opportunity for open and thorough discussions on the possibilities of Public-Private Vaccine monitoring platforms such as DRIVE in the short and long term future. Although DRIVE has greatly contributed to better understanding Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness (IVE) and influenza vaccines performance, it has also reinforced that Public Private Partnerships (PPP) can be scientifically sound and deliver robust results with a very transparent governance model”.

The introductory session consisted of a Public Roundtable on the benefits of Public-Private Partnership. This session was organized with the support of ACUMEN agency.  Voices such as those of Marco Cavaleri (Head of Biological Health Threats and Vaccines Strategy, EMA), Hanna Nohynek (Chief Physician, Deputy Head Unit Infectious Disease Control & Vaccines, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, THL), and Sibilia Quilici (Executive Director of Vaccines Europe), sparked an interesting debate about Public-Private Partnership and generating RWE (real world evidence) for vaccine monitoring. (An extensive post dedicated to the Public Roundtable and the video recording of the interventions will be published soon).

Next up was an overview of the DRIVE key assets and legacy for the future vaccine monitoring environment presented by Laurence Torcel-Pagnon (Sanofi) and Antonio Carmona (FISABIO), followed by a presentation by Anke Stuurman (P95) of 5 years of DRIVE’s Influenza vaccine effectiveness results, including the preliminary estimates for the 2021/22 season. DRIVE’s experiences and lessons learnt were shared in a poster session. Presenters provided a short pitch on different topics under the DRIVE scope (governance, study platform, sites’ perspectives, vaccine procurement, methodology, regulatory interactions and communication). For more details, please check the different posters underneath.

DRIVE Final Annual Forum Posters

Finally, Kaatje Bollaerts (P95), Antonio Carmona (FISABIO) and Laurence Torcel-Pagnon (Sanofi) provided an update on the COVIDRIVE consortium and its first COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness study.

Cédric Mahé, from Sanofi, and DRIVE EFPIA lead, concluded: “DRIVE can become a stepping stone in monitoring vaccine performance in Europe and serves to evaluate, in a timely manner, the risk-benefit profiles of vaccines, not only to optimize the use of resources by avoiding duplication efforts, but also to optimize and build on the expertise of each of the different partners. “

Thank you to those who attended our final event face-to-face and virtually. Stay tuned for more information on influenza and COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and the publication of the DRIVE official results report for the 2021/22 season.