The VITAL consortium was invited to submit an amendment of the Grant Agreement to IMI considering the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Together with the work package leads and partners, a VITAL amendment was prepared and submitted in November 2021 to IMI. The Grant Agreement is the leading legal reference document and provides the Description of Action and all details on work package (amended) timelines, deliverables deadlines and tasks (Annex 1) and the related budget (Annex 2).
Summary of the amendment
The main issue VITAL is currently facing is the availability of our principal investigators to carry out VITAL activities. VITAL has been facing lower availability of principal investigators to carry out VITAL activities as they are involved in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic including investigator involvement in national COVID response/guidelines, involvement in COVID research, clinical trials and surveillance and/or lack of access to facilities (due to imposed lockdowns) and other difficulties in performing tasks. This has impacted our deliverables and milestones and therefore an extension of deadlines was requested.
UCL and ICL stepped out of VITAL as a partner. As their tasks were limited to an advisory role, no milestones or deliverables are affected and this will not impact the project outcome in anyway.
Debbie van Baarle moved from UMCU to UMCG, which resulted in a WP2 budget shift from UMCU to UMCG. Part of the subcontracting budget in WP3 from GSK will instead be provided as a direct financial contribution to subcontract activities related to the fiscal modelling of adult immunization. Another part of this direct financial contribution will be used to retest HAI samples at an alternative CRO, subcontracted by RIVM. The latter will be used for activities that have not been foreseen yet and could arise based on key results as described in the Description of Action. Lastly, UMCG and SRI will take over the efforts (tasks) and budget from NIPH (WP3) due to reprioritization of activities.
We were very happy to receive the great news just before the Christmas break, that the amendment was approved. Thank you and well done to all who contributed to this.