Victorian COVID-19 Vaccinees Collection

The Victorian COVID-19 Vaccinees Collection (VC²) is a biospecimen collection of samples from people vaccinated against COVID-19 in Victoria.

The VC² will facilitate investigations into the impact of COVID-19 vaccines in a variety of Victorians. This will include whether the immune response to COVID-19 vaccines varies in specific sub-populations depending on prior exposure to COVID-19, age and other co-morbidities and how long immunity persists.

What are the aims of the collection?

The VC² will:

  • recruit participants in a cohesive and strategic way
  • provide open and collaborative access to high-quality biospecimens
  • support rapid scientific review of proposed research projects
  • foster collaboration between researchers
  • develop an enduring resource that integrates with similar collections nationally.

Who can access samples?

All Victorian-based researchers are welcome to apply for access to samples and related demographic and medical history data. Researchers applying for access will need to have ethical approval and complete the VC² sample application process.

Which groups of people are contributing samples to the biobank?

The Victorian COVID-19 Vaccinees Collection (VC²) includes samples from people in a cross-section of ages receiving COVID-19 vaccines (including first, second and third or ‘booster’ doses). This includes:

  • people more than 70 years of age
  • people living with HIV
  • healthcare workers
  • people on immunosuppressive agents and with immunosuppressive conditions
  • people with prior COVID-19 infection.

What types of samples are available?

The biobank collects blood and stores plasma, serum, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and DNA from up to 1500 vaccinees. Samples are taken prior to the first and second vaccines and at 6, 12 and 24 months. Some vaccinees have samples taken in the week after each vaccine dose.

How are samples processed?

Sample processing will occur through the three Victorian laboratories accredited by the national Immunovirology Research Network (IVRN). These laboratories are 360biolabs, the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory and the Lewin Laboratory at the Doherty Institute. These laboratories have the expertise to process high quality blood specimens and are part of the IVRN quality assurance program.

How can I access samples?

For more information about accessing samples, please contact:

VC² Biobank Co-ordinator, Rosy Taqi

Email: VC2-biobank@unimelb.edu.au