DRIVE officially ended under the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) umbrella on the 30th of June 2022. With this final post, DRIVE consortium partners would like to bring the curtain down to an equally challenging and enriching project.

DRIVE partners in the Brussels Grand Place, during the final Annual Forum celebration

DRIVE was set up in July 2017 to address the challenge of brand-specific Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness (IVE) evaluation in the EU through a public-private multi-stakeholder partnership. After five years of intense work, including two years among the COVID-19 pandemic, DRIVE has demonstrated that:

  1. Near real-time Influenza vaccine effectiveness monitoring is achievable,
  2. Public-private collaborations experience valuable scientific interactions, and no conflict of interest for vaccines evaluation,
  3. Its platform can rapidly be repurposed for respiratory virus as it has been for COVID-19 (COVIDRIVE),
  4. And that a large, tailored and agile study network is fundamental for IVE

As the cherry on top of the cake, DRIVE has recently published two of the project’s main outputs and a final “take-home messages” video that can be accessed here underneath.

Moreover, as part of its Open access for research data and secondary use framework, DRIVE will open very soon its database containing data from more than 35.000 patients, 60 variables and 12 influenza vaccines from 2017 to 2022. DRIVE partners, study sites and external entities will be able to submit their requests for additional analysis and further leverage the data collected during the 5 years life of the project.

Prof Javier Díez Domingo, the DRIVE Project Coordinator (Fisabio) shared some final words for this closing post: “The DRIVE consortium has worked swiftly and achieved its objectives even though the political situation. As a result, we have been able to build trust in a public-private model for vaccine monitoring and produced outstanding scientific outputs. DRIVE has ended but the partners will keep in touch for the future developments of the influenza vaccine effectiveness evaluation. A big thank you to all the DRIVE partners, study sites and the Independent Scientific Committee for their great work  through the DRIVE adventure”.

On a final note, Cédric Mahé, the DRIVE EFPIA lead commented: “The end of DRIVE marks the start of a most needed dialog at EU level between institutions, private sector, public sector and civil society about more inclusive platforms for vaccine effectiveness. It is only through this type of transparent and open collaborations involving all stakeholders that we will address vaccine hesitancy and public health gaps.”

DRIVE as an IMI project is over, but its legacy will be crucial in the future vaccine effectiveness monitoring ecosystem in Europe.

Congratulations to all the partners and study sites on this great success!