PERISCOPE at the 6th COVID-19 “research to policy action” dialogue
Monday 7 March 2022, 14:00 – 16:00 CET
After the surge caused by the Omicron variant, COVID-19 notification rates continue to decrease, confirming the downward trend in the EU/EEA. A gradual relaxation in the implementation of control measures is observed and populations across the continent look forward to going back to “normal”. At the same time, vigilance remains warranted: the virus’ evolution is unpredictable, immunity is waning and winter seasonality is likely.
To move into the unchartered territory of this next phase of the pandemic, all available scientific evidence needs to be taken into account. This sixth “research to policy action” meeting aims to facilitate the early dialogue between research projects and public health policy actors, on how to best move into this next phase of the pandemic.
The “research to policy action” meetings aim to facilitate the dialogue between the research community and the public health policy makers, and to ensure the timely translation of research into policy aims to bring together the different initiatives. The summary reports and presentations are made available on the “EU Health Policy Platform/COVID-19: Research to policy action”1, to which access is restricted.
Scope and objectives
The objective of this sixth “research to policy action” meeting is to facilitate an open discussion and dialogue how to best transition into the new phase of the pandemic, with lower infection rates and/or less acute burden placed on health systems from COVID-19, while remaining vigilant for a new surge. EU-funded research projects are asked to present relevant (preliminary) findings that can support policy makers in their decision-making. Questions of interest include:
How to best approach surveillance to ensure timely identification of a change in epidemiology and/or virus characteristics, including as pandemic-specific testing is reduced.
o If the epidemiological situation were to worsen, what mitigation approaches should be (re)introduced, in what groups, and when?
Evidence base on disease mitigation and societal impact from use of non-pharmaceutical countermeasures (in isolation and in combination), including against a backdrop of reduced transmission and reduced risk perception, and taking into account vulnerable groups.
Approaches to retain optimal protection in a post-acute phase, and against a changing backdrop of waning immunity, vaccine fatigue, perception of risk, trust, etc.
Approaches to inform vaccination (and therapeutic) strategies in preparation for a new surge; upscaling, target populations, etc.
Over the course of the meeting, research projects will have the chance to present preliminary findings to inform evidence-based policy for the coming months. This may also include the presentation of studies and study protocols that are being developed or have recently been launched for this purpose.
It is expected that at the end of this meeting participants will have gained insights in the latest evidence that can contribute to optimal public health policy in a transitioning pandemic context.
The short internal meeting report covering the main discussion points will be shared with all participants, and posted on the “EU Health Policy Platform/COVID-19: Research to policy action” (restricted access).
Participants invited to the meeting include representatives (coordinators and work package leaders) from the EU-funded project working on COVID-19. Colleagues from ECDC and EMA, and different directorates and units from DG HERA, DG SANTE and DG R&I will also be in attendance.