Melissa Andrew

Dr. Melissa Andrew is a Canadian geriatric physician based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is notable in the COVID-19 pandemic due to her role on the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

She holds positions at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology, the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN), and Dalhousie University.

She has also received funding from the Canadian Frailty Network, Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), Fondation de France, Foundation for Influenza Epidemiology, GlaxoSmithKline, ImmunoVaccine Technologies, Merck, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Pfizer, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Sanofi, Seqirus and Service Canada.

Education

She completed her MD at Dalhousie University, a Masters of Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on a Commonwealth Scholarship, and her residency training in internal medicine at Dalhousie. She also completed her interdisciplinary PhD on the topic of social vulnerability in older people.

Affiliations

Canadian Center for Vaccinology

Andrew is a member of the Canadian Center for Vaccinology.1)

Global Influenza Hospital Surveillance Network

Andrew has received funding from the Global Influenza Hospital Surveillance Network through the Foundation for Influenza Epidemiology, paid for by the Fondation de France.2) She also serves as a site representative on the foundation’s Scientific Committee. The FIE is paid for by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), Illumina, Sanofi, and Seqirus.3)

Canadian Consortium for Neurodegeneration and Aging

Andrew is a PI and member of the Social Inclusion and Stigma Working Group in the Canadian Consortium for Neurodegeneration and Aging study program, for which her team received a grant of $12,909,697.00 in 2019-2021 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.4) Phase I of the CCNA was sponsored by Eli Lilly, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Pfizer, and Sanofi.5)

PHAC/CIHR Influenza Research Network (2009-14)

Andrew was a member of the PHAC/CIHR Influenza Research Network, which was the precursor to the CIRN.6) She was named as a collaborator on a $7,897,246.00 grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for the 2010-2012 period, and again for 2013-2016 (a $4,452,000.00 extension).7) 8) The listed objectives for the network were:

  • To test methodologies for the performance of rapid clinical trials;
  • To assess the safety and immunogenicity of a novel pandemic influenza vaccine;
  • To provide population-based estimates of vaccine safety and effectiveness;
  • To measure vaccine coverage; and
  • To facilitate the rapid implementation of pandemic influenza vaccine programs.

The network operated on the anticipation of an upcoming influenza pandemic. “PCIRN will provide Canada with an established research network at the time of an influenza pandemic that will be able to provide the Public Health Agency of Canada with timely information on the safety and effectiveness of the pandemic influenza mass immunization program. This information will assure Canadians that the public health immunization response to the pandemic is safe, effective, and reaching all segments of the population who require it.”

Canadian Immunization Research Network (2014-current)

Andrew is a member of the Canadian Immunization Research Network, where she is co-principal investigator (PI) of the Serious Outcomes Surveillance (SOS) Network, where she studies how frailty impacts both vaccine effectiveness and clinical outcomes of influenza and pneumococcal infections in older people.9)

She is listed as a PI on a Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant to the CIRN for $8,662,794.00, covering 2017-2021.10)

She was earlier listed on the grant for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2018 periods.11) 12)

Further, she is a PI for a CIRN-led project titled “COVID-19 Vaccine Readiness”, funded for $2,000,000.00 in 2020 and 2021.13) She is also a PI on a Canadian 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rapid Research Funding Opportunity titled “Identification of biomarkers that predict severity of COVID-19 patients,” funded for $1,000,000.00 in 2020 and 2021.14) This was bolstered by a $50,000.00 supplement to add “sex as a biological variable,”15) and then the “COVID-19 Variant Network.”16)

Andrews is a PI in a 2020/2021 study titled “Assessing the Association Between Frailty and Outcome of COVID-19 Infection” alongside Allison McGeer, a member of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.17) The funding was granted by the CIHR through McGeer’s employer, Sinai Health System, for a total of $132,644.00.

She also is a PI in a study examining the importance of the presence of family and visitations to long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, funded for $149,984.00 by the CIHR.18)

Finally, she was also a collaborator on the PUPPY Study, examining difficulties in accessing primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study received $407,552.00 from the CIHR for 2020-2021.19)

Dalhousie University

Andrew is an Associate Professor of Medicine and consultant in Geriatric Medicine at Dalhousie University.20) In this role, she gave a presentation on March 9, 2021 to brainXchange in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada and the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA).21)

Nova Scotia Health

Andrew is a geriatrician at QEII Health Sciences Centre under Nova Scotia Health.22)

Canadian Frailty Network

Andrew is a PI for the Canadian Frailty Network (CFN), from which she has received research grants.23) 24) The CFN is partnered with Abbott, the Canadian Cancer Society, Covidien, General Electric, Nestlé Health Science, RBC (Royal Bank of Canada), Pfizer, and Novartis, among others.25)

Public Health Agency of Canada

Andrew is on contract with the Public Health Agency of Canada for COVID-19 and influenza surveillance, run through Public Works Canada. The contract is valued at over $1,000,000 and is ongoing.

Research

Dr. Andrew’s research interests are in social vulnerability, frailty and cognitive impairment. In 2019 and 2020, Andrew was a collaborator on a study exploring the link between loneliness and dementia.26)

COVID-19

In addition to the above studies conducted through her various institutions, Andrew also received funding from Sanofi to conduct a study titled “COVID-19’s Impact on Willingness to Be Vaccinated against Influenza and COVID-19 during the 2020/2021 Season: Results from an Online Survey of Canadian Adults 50 Years and Older.27) In her disclosures, she reported having received prior grants from GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Sanofi, and personal fees from Immunovaccine Technologies, Pfizer, Sanofi, and Seqirus. The paper was published in April 2021, while Andrew was sitting on NACI.

Andrew reports paid participation in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine advisory boards, as well as for their pneumococcal vaccine. These took place between November 2019 and February 2022, while serving on NACI. She did the same for Sanofi (also for COVID-19 vaccines, as well as influenza) from February 2019 to September 2021, and for Seqirusinfluenza vaccines from February-June 2021.

She also reports a non-paid consultancy related to the development of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

Additional COVID-19 studies include:

  • Considering Frailty in SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Development: How Geriatricians Can Assist28)
    • Published April 28, 2021
  • Age and frailty in COVID-19 vaccine development29)
    • Published November 18, 2020
    • Andrew reports grants from the Canadian Frailty Network, Sanofi, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline, personal fees from Pfizer for advisory board membership, and personal fees from Sanofi for advisory board membership and consulting about severe outcomes of influenza in older adults.
    • She also disclosed agreement to future payments for serving as a member of the data safety monitoring board for a COVID-19 vaccine trial funded by ImmunoVaccine Technologies.
  • COVID-19, frailty and long-term care: Implications for policy and practice30)
    • Published May 31, 2020
  • Clinical Judgment Is Paramount When Performing Cognitive Screening during COVID-1931)
    • Published May 12, 2020
  • Ageism and COVID-19: What does our society’s response say about us?32)
    • Published May 6, 2020

Influenza

Andrew worked on a study on influenza vaccines, funded by a National Institutes of Health grant titled “Immune Response to High-Dose vs. Standard Dose Influenza Vaccine.”33) 34)

Pneumococcal pneumonia

Andrew is a PI on a grant valued over $1,000,000 from Merck investigating pneumococcal pneumonia in hospitalized adults, beginning in January 2019 and is ongoing.

She also received over $1,000,000 to her institution from Pfizer for pneumococcal research for the period of 2015-2019.

RSV

Andrew is a PI on a $500,000- 1,000,000 grant from GlaxoSmithKline evaluating the burden of RSV among hospitalized Canadian adults. The grant began in 2019 and is ongoing.

1)
CCfV Members and Researchers. Canadian Center for Vaccinology. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://archive.ph/1SE93
2)
Curran, D., Kim, J. H., Matthews, S., Dessart, C., Levin, M. J., Oostvogels, L., Riley, M. E., Schmader, K. E., Cunningham, A. L., McNeil, S. A., Schuind, A. E., & Andrew, M. K. (2020). Recombinant zoster vaccine is efficacious and safe in frail individuals. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 69(3), 744–752. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.16917
3)
The Foundation for Influenza Epidemiology. Global Influenza Hospital Surveillance Network. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://archive.ph/jPm8A
4)
Phase Two of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://archive.ph/O6PNR
5)
The Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging. (2019, September 3). Partner Organizations - CCNA Phase I (2014–2019). CCNA-CCNV. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://archive.ph/FDAGb
6)
About Us. (2013, January 30). CIRN | Canadian Immunization Research Network. https://archive.ph/JOVmZ
7)
PHAC/CIHR Influenza Research Network - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 26, 2022, from https://archive.ph/ucCmp
8)
PHAC/CIHR Influenza Research Network - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 26, 2022, from https://archive.ph/q5uQY
9)
Andrew, M. K., McElhaney, J. E., McGeer, A. A., Hatchette, T. F., Leblanc, J., Webster, D., Bowie, W., Poirier, A., Nichols, M. K., & McNeil, S. A. (2020). Influenza surveillance case definitions miss a substantial proportion of older adults hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza: A report from the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) Serious Outcomes Surveillance (SOS) Network. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 41(5), 499–504. https://doi.org/10.1017/ice.2020.22
10)
Canadian Immunization Research Network - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://archive.ph/WQFKH
11)
Canadian Immunization Research Network - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 26, 2022, from https://archive.ph/nO11g
12)
Canadian Immunization Research Network - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 26, 2022, from https://archive.ph/enxYP
13)
Canadian Immunization Research Network: COVID-19 Vaccine Readiness - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://archive.ph/SKkXi
14)
Identification of biomarkers that predict severity of COVID-19 patients - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://archive.ph/985BD
15)
Sex as a Biological Variable Supplement - Identification of biomarkers that predict severity of COVID-19 patients - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 26, 2022, from https://archive.ph/CWrUo
16)
COVID-19 Variant Network - Identification of biomarkers that predict severity of COVID-19 patients - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 26, 2022, from https://cognit.ca/en/research/project/233038
17)
Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Assessing the Association Between Frailty and Outcome of COVID-19 Infection. Canadian Research Information System. Retrieved March 26, 2022, from https://archive.ph/PeBPN
18)
Presence of Family - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 26, 2022, from https://archive.ph/VphuF
19)
PUPPY Study - Problems Coordinating and Accessing Primary Care for Attached and Unattached Patients Exacerbated During the COVID-19 Pandemic Year: A Longitudinal Mixed Methods Study with Rapid Reporting and Planning for the Road Ahead - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 26, 2022, from https://cognit.ca/en/research/project/232359
20)
Dr. Melissa Andrew. CIRN | Canadian Immunization Research Network. Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://archive.ph/pAUOK
21)
brainXchange. (2021, March 9). Putting the pieces together: why frailty and social context matter when it comes to dementia. Vimeo. https://web.archive.org/web/20220326222347/https://vimeo.com/521585685
22)
The Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging. (2021, October 19). PFSD 2021 - Day 3. CCNA-CCNV. Retrieved March 26, 2022, from https://archive.ph/KjGiP
23)
Melissa Andrew. Canadian Frailty Network. Retrieved March 27, 2022, from https://archive.ph/sftos
24)
Andrew, M. K., & Barrett, L. (2021). COVID-19 susceptibility in long-term care facilities. The Lancet Healthy Longevity, 2(6), e310–e311. https://doi.org/10.1016/s2666-7568(21)00119-7
25)
Industry and Association Partners. Canadian Frailty Network. Retrieved March 27, 2022, from https://archive.ph/BkHql
26)
The association between loneliness and cognitive decline and the roles personality traits may play - Project Details. Cognit. Retrieved March 26, 2022, from https://cognit.ca/en/research/project/215958
27)
Waite, N. M., Pereira, J. A., Houle, S. K. D., Gilca, V., & Andrew, M. K. (2021). COVID-19’s impact on willingness to be vaccinated against influenza and COVID-19 during the 2020/2021 season: results from an online survey of Canadian adults 50 years and older. Vaccines, 9(4), 346. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9040346
28)
Andrew, M. K., Schmader, K. E., Rockwood, K., Clarke, B., & McElhaney, J. E. (2021). Considering frailty in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development: How geriatricians can assist. Clinical Interventions in Aging, Volume 16, 731–738. https://doi.org/10.2147/cia.s295522
29)
Andrew, M. K., & McElhaney, J. E. (2020). Age and frailty in COVID-19 vaccine development. The Lancet, 396(10267), 1942–1944. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(20)32481-8
30)
Andrew, M., Searle, S. D., McElhaney, J. E., McNeil, S. A., Clarke, B., Rockwood, K., & Kelvin, D. J. (2020). COVID-19, frailty and long-term care: Implications for policy and practice. The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, 14(05), 428–432. https://doi.org/10.3855/jidc.13003
31)
Phillips, N. A., Andrew, M., Chertkow, H., Pichora-Fuller, M. K., Rockwood, K., & Wittich, W. (2020). Clinical judgment is paramount when performing cognitive screening during COVID-19. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 68(7), 1390–1391. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.16559
32)
Fraser, S., Lagacé, M., Bongué, B., Ndeye, N., Guyot, J., Bechard, L., Garcia, L., Taler, V., Andrew, M., Bayly, M., Bethell, J., Chasteen, A., Elliot, V., Herron, R., Itzhak, I., Kortzman, A., Maxwell, C., McGilton, K., Middleton, L., . . . Tougas, F. (2020). Ageism and COVID-19: what does our society’s response say about us? Age and Ageing, 49(5), 692–695. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afaa097
33)
Verschoor, C. P., Pawelec, G., Haynes, L., Loeb, M., Andrew, M. K., Kuchel, G. A., & McElhaney, J. E. (2021). Granzyme B: A double-edged sword in the response to influenza infection in vaccinated older adults. Frontiers in Aging, 2. https://doi.org/10.3389/fragi.2021.753767
34)
National Institutes of Health. Immune response to high-dose vs. standard dose influenza vaccine. TAGGS. Retrieved March 27, 2022, from https://archive.ph/iI2uA
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