About the seroMARK-VR project

The seroMARK Vaccine Response (seroMARK-VR) project is a research study aiming to determine the immune response to COVID-19 vaccines amongst the Black Canadian population (African, Caribbean, North American) in comparison to other ethnic groups. Vaccine responses will be determined by measuring the immune response and presence of adverse events following vaccination. The project seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What are the antibody responses to the COVID-19 vaccines among Black Canadians?
  • To what extent of the population is vulnerable to infection and adverse outcomes?
  • To what extent does the vaccine response provide sustained immunity to the virus over time?

What is a vaccine response?

A vaccine response refers to the reaction of your immune system following vaccination. The production of antibodies and immune cells called T cells are common features of a vaccine response and will be measured. These tests provide information on how someone has responded to the COVID-19 vaccines. 

What are antibodies?

Antibodies are substances that the body makes to protect people from infections like that caused by the virus responsible for COVID-19.

T cell responses can indicate how prepared the immune system is to fight off future infection with the COVID-19 virus. When an antibody test is positive, this indicates that there may have been previous vaccination or exposure to the COVID-19 virus and your body has built some protection against COVID-19. 

Who can participate in this study?

Anyone who identifies as being of Black Canadian ethnicity

Anyone who does not identify as Black Canadian can take part in the study in the comparison/control group

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 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.