On October 14, 2021, the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) was awarded the 2021 Organizational Impact Award by the Washington Global Health Alliance for its role in developing and conducting large trials of COVID-19 vaccines. Highlights of the Network’s accomplishments included the development of community engagement/education materials to enhance the enrollment of BIPOC communities, public service announcement campaigns, animations in English and Spanish to encourage participation in the trials, an educational website, and a participant registry that in three months had more than 500,000 volunteers.
The Network played a critical behind-the-scenes role in advancing COVID vaccine trials through its existing networks, researchers, statistical design/analysis, laboratory harmonization, and community engagement program, achieving incredible progress for global health in a short period of time.
CoVPN technical editor, Dr. Mindy Miner, accepted the award virtually on the Network’s behalf, saying, “I am accepting the award on behalf of the team at Fred Hutch and a village of other people across the world, who are remarkable colleagues, that have been working tirelessly for the past year and half.” When asked what was learned from the experience and how we can apply it to vaccines for other diseases, Miner mentioned the HIV Vaccine Trials Network’s (HVTN) efforts on HIV vaccines and the infrastructure and scientific capacity, community partnerships, statistical designs, lab assays, and all of the site investigators that have all been building upon the HVTN’s work over the past 20 years, which enabled the CoVPN to do its work at such a rapid pace.
Anna Altavas is the Communications Manager for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and COVID-19 Prevention Network.