The Waratah Vaccine Trials Network was established in 2020 in response to the growing need for a coordinated approach to clinical vaccine trials in NSW made urgent by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic created a critical need to have the capability and infrastructure in NSW to attract and conduct COVID-19 vaccine trials for the benefit of Australia and internationally.

The short-term goal of the network is to facilitate the rapid conduct of COVID-19 specific and related vaccine trials of both pharmaceutical industry sponsored and investigator-initiated vaccine candidates.

The first trial to commence under the Waratah network banner (involving five NSW hospitals) was the BRACE trial, an international collaborative trial investigating the potential for the BCG vaccine to protect against COVID-19 in healthcare workers.

The Waratah Vaccine Trial Network will act as a hub for the future of vaccine trials in NSW.

Our vision and mission

Our vision is to improve population health through the conduct of high-quality, collaborative clinical vaccine trials in NSW and Australia.

Our aims are to:

  • establish NSW as a premier site in Australia for vaccine trial research
  • increase access to clinical vaccine trials for the population of NSW
  • provide an efficient, high-performing clinical trial network in which to conduct both industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated vaccine trials
  • provide education, training and mentorship to the next generation of vaccine researchers
  • engage with consumers to optimise the design and conduct of vaccine trials
  • facilitate the translation of the results of vaccine trials into policies and programs for our population.

Our members

The network is a multidisciplinary collaboration of leading and emerging clinical vaccine trial researchers, consumers and other stakeholders. We consist of a core group of researchers who design and lead clinical trials and members who participate by recruiting participants to the trials in a given vaccine portfolio.

Current participating urban hospital sites include: the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN), Westmead Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital.

The network plans to include new sites in both urban and regional/rural locations, both hospital- and community-focussed, in NSW.

Industry and investigators are invited to approach the network coordination team with a vaccine trial that they wish to be conducted under network capabilities. Please email SCHN-NCIRS-Research@health.nsw.gov.au.

Last updated July 2020