Case study: Vasileios - my experience as the parent of a child involved in the HARMONIE study
“I decided to take part in the HARMONIE study because I saw it as an opportunity to help protect our daughter in the best possible way,” Vasileios explains.
He is one of tens of thousands of parents supporting their children to participate in a study looking into whether a monoclonal antibody immunisation can protect against RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), one of the leading causes of hospitalisation in all infants worldwide.
The HARMONIE study is a collaboration between Sanofi, its partner AstraZeneca, and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).
“My wife was informed about the study when she was arranging our daughter’s immunisation vaccination,” Vasileios explains. “We both have positive attitudes towards research, so it was easy to decide to take part.” The family are involved in the study at the University of Nottingham Health Service (Cripps Health Centre.)
The study is taking place across three countries (United Kingdom, France and Germany), and aims to recruit more than 20,000 infants in total. “We’re happy to be part of an international study,” he adds. “This gives us even greater confidence in the strength of the study, as does the number of people involved.”
Vasileios and his wife were approached by text to tell them about the study and that their daughter was eligible to take part. They had an initial discussion with the study team and were told that their daughter could be given the immunisation alongside her immunisation vaccination.
“She was randomised to receive the immunisation rather than standard care,” Vasileios says. “The team were helpful and professional, provided us with all the information that we needed and made the whole process feel safe.”
After receiving the immunisation, they waited for thirty minutes to make sure there were no immediate adverse effects. Vasileios and his wife subsequently downloaded the study app where they can upload information if there are any issues, and also received a call from the study team a few days later to make sure that their daughter was ok.
Vasileios speaks warmly about the staff that he has encountered during the study. “They have all been polite and kind, willing to explain everything about the study and been entirely professional throughout,” he says.
He is keen to encourage other parents to be part of the study. “It takes very little time and could make a real impact for children in the future,” he explains. “But to make that impact and to hopefully protect infants we need people to put themselves forward to take part.”
Find out more about the HARMONIE study at: https://rsvharmoniestudy.com/en-gb