COVID-19 infection and vaccination in pregnancy: An Irish cohort study and European ecological study to assess risks of congenital anomalies


Research Area:

Maternal and Child Health

What is the research about?

Our project involves a collaboration between two of the leading perinatal epidemiology centres in Ireland, The Irish Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research (INFANT), University College Cork (UCC), and the Centre for Maternal, Fetal, and Infant Research (MFIR), Ulster University (UU).
The project will address present gaps in scientific evidence regarding COVID-19 infection and vaccination uptake in pregnancy and its effects on the developing foetus, particularly in the first trimester of pregnancy. Therefore, the primary aim is to establish a pattern of pregnancy exposures to COVID-19 infection and vaccine uptake in both the North and South of Ireland and to examine the impact of the pandemic on the rate of congenital anomalies.
We would like to establish a PPI group to help our research team to produce clear messaging around our study findings that balances risks, benefits, and uncertainties appropriately and does not cause unwarranted alarm. Predicted duties for PPI contributors will be to review the research process of our project (and data) to create dissemination materials.

Opportunity for:

Parent or carer

Involvement Opportunity Details


Time commitment:

4 x 1-hour online meetings

Contact between meetings:

We are inviting 6-8 parents (1 per family) of children aged less than 4 years to participate. Ideally, we would like at least 3 males to participate. There will be 4 online meetings in total, each of 1-hour duration. Two meetings will take place before study findings are generated, and two meetings when study findings are known to the research team. Pre-Results Meetings: Meeting 1: Agree on framework, for example, what study is about and roles of the group. Meeting 2: Discussion on dissemination of study findings regardless of results. Post-Results Meetings: Meeting 3: Discussion on what study found and further discussion on dissemination. Meeting 4: Finalise what was previously discussed.

Length of involvement:

12 months

Start date for involvement:





If online, explain how:

Zoom or Teams, Email

If in person, explain where:

Not applicable

Other ways of communicating:


Funding available for:

PPI contributor’s time

If no funding available, explain why:

Not applicable

Other Information

Stage of the research study/ programme:

Research started

Is this opportunity for PPI in a PhD:


Closing date to contact researchers:


Research Team

Contact person:

Dr Melissa Kelly


University College Cork

Contact email:

Researcher background:

Public health postdoctoral researcher with a background in mixed methodology, including focus group studies.

Research funder:

Higher Education Authority Collaborative North-South Funding Programme 2021


Interested in this PPI Opportunity?

Please complete this form and click SUBMIT

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