Usher Institute

Vaccine Breakthrough Project

Using the EAVE II cohort to investigate the effectiveness of currently administered or future approved vaccines by dose, viral variants and patient clinical and demographic characteristics.

Summary (research in a nutshell) 

As the vaccine programme in the UK continues, currently with the third and ‘booster’ programme, it is important to study post-vaccine breakthrough with SARS-CoV-2 infection.   

Understanding who remains at risk after receiving booster vaccination can help identify who is most likely to benefit from additional vaccine regimens or other interventions (e.g. shielding or monoclonal antibodies) to reduce risk. 

Our aim is to investigate booster vaccine dose breakthroughs in the context of the rapidly changing epidemiological picture of SARS-CoV-2 infection and emerging viral variants. 

We will initially conduct a national prospective population-based cohort using EAVE II data (which includes vaccination status, primary care, secondary care, laboratory test, anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies, viral variants and genomics, and mortality across Scotland). This will be used to assess the effectiveness of currently administered vaccines, and any future approved vaccines, by vaccine dose, viral variants, and patient clinical and demographic characteristics. 

We will then use national data from other UK nations to undertake an independent external replication of our findings. 

Key People

Aziz Sheikh Principal Investigator 
Chris Robertson Lead for Scotland
Simon de Lusignan Lead for England 
Declan Bradley Lead for Northern Ireland 
Ronan Lyons Lead for Wales  
Samantha Lycett Co-lead for Scotland 
Vahe Nafilyan  Co-lead for England (ONS) 
Lynsey Patterson Co-lead for Northern Ireland 
Ashley Akbari Co-lead for Wales 
Ahmar Shah Lead analyst 
Mark Joy Lead analyst 
Colin McCowan Lead analyst 
Steven Kerr Lead analyst 
Natalia Reglinska-Matveyev Project Manager (University of Edinburgh) 
Sneha Anand Project Manager (University of Oxford) 
Lana Woolford Patient Public Involvement Lead


Natalia Reglinska-Matveyev  

Key Collaborators 





Public Health Scotland 

University of St. Andrews 

University of Strathclyde 


University of Oxford 

Office for National Statistics 

Northern Ireland 

Queens University Belfast 

Public Health Agency 


Swansea University 

Public Health Wales 


Vaccine Breakthrough is a incorporated project of EAVE II. Visit the EAVE II website for more information. 

EAVE II Connected Projects Webpage

Funders and Partners 

UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council) 

Scottish Government 

Health Data Research UK 

Chief Scientist Office 

National Institute for Health Research 

National Core Studies Programme: Immunity 


Start date: 1 January 2022 

End date: 30 September 2022