About the seroMARK-VR SCD project

The seroMARK Vaccine Response Sickle Cell Disease (seroMARK-VR-SCD) project is a research study aiming to determine the immune response to COVID-19 vaccination amongst

Black Canadian children and adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) in comparison to other ethnic groups. Patients with SCD are known to be at increased risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 illness. Protecting these patients with COVID-19 vaccines is of paramount importance. However, there is little information on the immune response to the COVID-19 vaccines among children and adolescents with SCD. The seroMARK-VR SCD study wants to know:

  • What are the antibody responses to the COVID-19 vaccines among children with and without SCD?
  • To what extent does the vaccine response (with and without a booster dose) provide sustained T cell-mediated immunity to the virus?
  • What are the safety profiles of the vaccine received (as measured by adverse events of special interest)?

What is Sickle Cell Disease? 

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a genetically inherited blood disorder causing your red blood cells to take on a crescent shape. SCD mainly affects persons of African ancestry and is a risk factor for severe outcomes from COVID-19. 

Who can participate in this study?

Anyone who identifies as being of Black Canadian ethnicity with or without Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) 

Anyone that does not identify as Black Canadian with or without SCD can take part in this study in the comparison/control group 

Are 18 years of age or under 

Anyone eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine based on the most updated eligibility criteria in your province 

Anyone planning to be or has already been vaccinated against COVID-19 

Anyone who is not currently sick from a COVID-19 infection and who resides in Ontario 

What will happen in this study?

During the study, you will have a minimum of one study visit, with additional visits following each vaccination dose over the duration of the study. 

A member of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) team will visit you in the community close to where you live or will participate in a virtual visit with you from your area of residence. The first visit will include a blood test and a brief questionnaire. 

Once your blood sample is drawn, we will take the blood sample to SickKids or to another approved facility as appropriate for testing. 


Where will the visits take place?

We will visit your community and will provide notice when and where we are coming. 

This will be done through social media, posters, community leaders, churches, and other means. 

Are you interested in being a participant?

To participate in the seroMARK-VR SCD study, please fill out our contact form. After you submit the form, a member of the seroMARK project team will contact you to discuss next steps.
By providing your contact information and submitting the form below, you are providing your consent to be contacted by the seroMARK project team at SickKids.