Our research utilizes the power of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated model of care; our large and diverse base of members; a vast array of comprehensive databases; and a state-of-the-art electronic records system, which serves approximately 4.6 million Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California.
We conduct the following types of research:
- Clinical studies that test the safety and effectiveness of vaccines that the pharmaceutical industry is seeking to license
- Studies that use patient data to monitor the safety and effectiveness of vaccines after they have been licensed
- Studies that examine the epidemiological factors important to developing and distributing new vaccines
- Studies that monitor influenza and other respiratory viruses and flu vaccine effectiveness
- Studies of vaccine safety in special populations
The Vaccine Study Center has been involved in a wide variety of COVID-19 vaccine evaluations since the pandemic began in early 2020.
- The center was chosen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to carry out Rapid Cycle Analysis of potential serious side effects of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines through data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink.
- The VSC coordinated Kaiser Permanente Northern California participation in clinical trials for Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for various ages.
- Center investigators have participated in analyses of the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in various populations.
- VSC researchers were also involved with Division of Research studies exploring outcomes of COVID-19 patients.
Influenza and Pneumonia
Influenza and Pneumonia trends and vaccines have been a topic of focus for the center for much of its 30-year history. Recent work has included:
- Finding a large reduction in hospitalization risk for pregnant women who receive the flu vaccine
- Identifying geographic hot spots where pregnant women did not get vaccinated for flu
- Evaluation of a PCV-13 vaccine against pneumonia in older adults
Other vaccine work
The Vaccine Study Center is also a major resource for both industry and government in evaluating effectiveness and safety of a wide variety of both childhood and adult vaccines. Recent work has included safety of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine in adolescents and adults, and safety of 9-valent human papillomavirus vaccine in routine use. The center’s investigators also examine vaccine policy issues, such as evaluating parental intention to vaccinate elementary school-aged children.