In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts across disciplines recognized that data collection and research on COVID-19 in pregnancy were urgently needed. In April 2021, the OMNI Research Group established the COVID-19 Pregnancy Event (COPE) Network – a collaboration of 13 obstetrical hospitals in 6 of Ontario’s largest cities, which collectively handle 75% of hospital births in Ontario each year. The COPE Network includes experts in maternal-fetal-medicine, perinatal epidemiology, public health, molecular virology and infectious diseases.
Over the last 2 years we have launched a series of CIHR-funded seroprevalence, vertical transmission and surveillance investigations designed to generate rapid, rigorous evidence specific to the impacts of COVID-19 on maternal, fetal and newborn health and the role of COVID-19 vaccines for protecting mothers and their newborns. Our findings will inform strategies to optimize processes in care and patient counselling and improve health systems management of COVID-19 in pregnancy.
The purpose of this study is to find out what effects COVID-19 vaccines have on the immune systems of pregnant women/individuals and their babies. We will measure immune responses in vaccinated participants and their babies after they are born, and document vaccine-related reactions and health outcomes that may occur after vaccination.
In addition, the data from this study will be compared with data from other COVID-19 research studies. We will measure differences in the mother and baby(ies) immune responses between individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy and those who had COVID-19 in pregnancy. We will also measure differences in the immune responses to COVID-19 vaccination between pregnant and non-pregnant women/individuals.
- The COVID-19 Ontario Pregnancy Event (COPE) Network: Assessing the impact of COVID-19 in pregnancy on maternal, fetal and newborn health. Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Operating Grant: COVID-19 May 2020 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity. Principal Applicants: El-Chaâr D, Langlois MA. ($795,559 CAD) (2020-2021)
- Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Operating Grant: SARS-CoV-2 variants supplement: COVID-19 Rapid Research Funding. Principal Applicants: El-Chaâr D. ($50,000 CAD) (2021-2022)
- Pregnant and Lactating Individuals & Newborns COVID-19 Vaccination (PLAN-V) Study. Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Operating Grant: Emerging COVID-19 Research Gaps and Priorities Funding Opportunity (March 2021). Principal Applicants: El-Chaâr D, Langlois MA, McGuinty M. ($500,000 CAD) (2021-2022)
- Boisvert C, Talarico R, Denize KM, Frank O, Murphy MSQ, Harvey ALJ, Rennicks White R, Fell DB, O’Hare-Gordon, MA, Guo Y, Corsi DJ, Sampsel K, Wen SW, Walker M, El-Chaâr D, Muldoon KA. Giving birth in the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic: The patient experience. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2022. 6(9):1753-1761. doi: 10.1007/s10995-022-03495-2.
- Fakhraei R, Erwin E, Alibhai KM, Murphy MSQ, Dingwall-Harvey ALJ, White RR, Dimanlig-Cruz S, LaRose R, Grattan K, Jia JJ, Liu G, Arnold C, Galipeau Y, Shir-Mohammadi K, Alton GD, Dy J, Walker MC, Fell DB, Langlois MA, El-Chaâr D. Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among obstetric patients in Ottawa, Canada: a descriptive study. CMAJ Open. 2022;10(3):E643-E651. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20210228.
- Ross AM, Ramlawi S, Fakhraei R, Murphy MS, Ducharme R, Dingwall-Harvey AL, White RR, Ritchie K, Muldoon K, El-Chaâr D. The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a SARS-CoV-2 testing programme on obstetric patients and healthcare workers. Womens Health (Lond). 2022;18:17455057221103101. doi: 10.1177/17455057221103101.
- Muldoon KA, Denize KM, Talarico R, Fell DB, Sobiesiak A, Heimerl M, Sampsel K. COVID-19 pandemic and violence: rising risks and decreasing urgent care-seeking for sexual assault and domestic violence survivors. BMC Medicine. 2021; 19(1):20. doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01897-z.
- Muldoon KA, Denize KM, Talarico R, Boisvert C, Frank O, Harvey ALJ, Rennicks White R, Fell DB, O’Hare-Gordon MA, Guo Y, Murphy MSQ, Corsi DJ, Sampsel K, Wen SW, Walker MC, El-Chaar D. COVID-19 and perinatal intimate partner violence: a cross-sectional survey of pregnant and postpartum individuals in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. BMJ Open. 2021; 11(5):e049295. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-049295