THE University of Dundee is seeking thousands of volunteers for a new study assessing the effectiveness and safety of Covid-19 vaccines.

Researchers are hoping that the VAC4COVID study will help scientists and doctors understand people’s health experiences after vaccination and support public confidence.

Launched by the university’s Medicines Monitoring Unit (MEMO Research) thousands of volunteers are required to take part so researchers can detect if there are any unexpected, rare conditions linked to vaccination.

All vaccines must meet rigorous quality, safety and efficacy standards before being approved. But, as with any new medicines or treatments, ongoing research is needed to fill any gaps in the knowledge obtained from clinical trials.

MEMO will work closely with vaccine regulators to inform them of any findings. Those involved stressed the important role these studies play in reporting any safety or lack of effectiveness signals in real time, so that action can be taken promptly.

Participants will provide information about their health before and after vaccination. Members of the public are invited to sign up on the VAC4COVID study website, which provides a user-friendly way to report diagnoses and symptoms.

Those who sign-up will be contacted at regular intervals before and after vaccination to check on their health.

“New medical conditions, like heart problems and neurological diagnoses occur all the time, whether people are vaccinated or not,” said project leader professor Tom MacDonald.

“The difficulty for medicines regulators is to know how many new conditions are related to vaccination and how many would have happened anyway. For this reason, we want to be able to track medical events both before and after vaccination, as well as in unvaccinated people.”

Even people who do not plan to get vaccinated are encouraged to take part to enable researchers to gauge whether medical conditions are coincidental or as a result of the vaccination.

Professor Isla Mackenzie, deputy director of MEMO Research, added: “Asking people to report their own medical events in our previous study of swine flu vaccination worked very well and most participants reported no problems with their health.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the study can sign up at