Our Study

The VIP Study


People with blood cancers have weakened immune systems due to their disease and the treatments they receive. They also have a higher risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 infection compared to people without blood cancers. Therefore, it is important to protect them from COVID-19 infection.

However, people with blood cancers were not included in the large COVID-19 vaccine trials. Thus, it is important for us to gather data on our patients to know if they mount a protective antibody response to the vaccine, and whether this response lasts over time.

Although we believe the vaccine is safe in patients with blood cancers, we will also collect safety data for this specific population.

This study will be important to informing decision making around COVID-19 vaccines and public health policies in the hematologic malignancy population.


We will recruit 1404 participants with hematologic malignancies (e.g. lymphomas, plasma cell disorders, myeloid cancers, acute leukemias, and stem cell transplant recipients) from across Canada. Four sites (The Ottawa Hospital, TOH), Toronto (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, PMCC), Montreal (McGill University Health Centre, MUHC) and Edmonton (Cross Cancer Institute and University of Alberta Hospital) will serve as study hubs where patients will be recruited from high volume clinics.

Upon enrollment, blood will be collected and at predefined intervals post-vaccination. Following one initial blood draw, patients will self-collect Dried Blood Spot samples at home and mail-in. We will provide instructions and videos to help you do this.

Blood samples will be tested for anti-SARS-Cov-2 antibodies. Questionnaires and safety questions throughout the study will collect information on symptoms post-vaccination, potential exposures to COVID-19, COVID-19 infection, and changes in medical history.

Your Impact

You make our research possible. We need data now to answer critical questions about the health and safety of people with blood cancers who receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Through analyzing your data, we will learn more about:

Through your data, our study aims to:

  1. The levels of COVID-19 antibody against SARS-CoV-2.
  2. Cellular response to vaccination, particularly in patients suspected to have poor antibody response.
  3. Antibody and T-cell responses to emerging variants.
  4. Immune responses between 1- & 2-dose vaccines, and their timing, when possible.
  5. Immune responses between mRNA and non-mRNA vaccines.
  6. Immune response between patients who have evidence of pre-existing COVID-19 infection compared to those who do not.
  7. The rates of laboratory diagnosed COVID-19 infection and severe infection post-vaccination with attention to emerging variants.