The second VERDI General Assembly took place from 28-30 June 2022, bringing together more than 70 people both online and in Padua, Italy. This hybrid meeting spotlighted the important work carried out by different working groups and allowed members to share updates on their activities. It was also an opportunity for the VERDI Consortium to exchange on COVID-19-related issues, as well as to identify crucial research questions that we will seek to answer in the coming months.
With more than 40 speakers giving insightful presentations over the course of three days, the meeting highlighted the importance of cross-cohort coordination as a means to better collect and analyse evidence on COVID-19 across paediatric and pregnant populations. In this spirit of collaboration, the working group model in place for VERDI is proving effective in allowing for successful exchange between Work Packages. We invite people from the Consortium to sign up for any working group (transmission in children; maternal-infant analyses; vaccine effectiveness; clinical/treatment) by getting in touch with the respective WG leads.
As the COVID-19 scenario rapidly mutates and new variants of concern are discovered, new research questions emerge that could be addressed through a coordinated effort within VERDI. Among the different issues requiring heightened attention, participants identified vaccine dosing for children; post-COVID conditions, such as long COVID; as well as vaccine safety in children.
Finally, participants reflected on the crucial role of synergies with other research consortia to achieve common goals. There are several projects focusing on COVID-19, both at European and international level, approaching the topic from different perspectives. It is key to entertain regular discussions with them in order to find ways to share and harmonise definitions, protocols, methodologies and datasets.
The VERDI General Assembly left participants energised and excited about the coming months. The next General Assembly meeting, to be held in 2023, will represent an opportunity to track progress and reflect on what we will have accomplished together.