‘First Few X’ (FFX) research project to enhance the public health response to COVID-19 in Australia

Project team

Professor Jodie McVernon – The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Doherty Institute

Dr James Fielding  – Doherty Institute

Adrian Marcato – Doherty Institute

Priyanka Pillai – Doherty Institute

Dr Miranda Smith – Doherty Institute

Dr Emily Eriksson – Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, WEHI

Professor Ivo Mueller – WEHI

Dr Vanessa Bryant – WEHI

Dr Siavash Foroughi – WEHI

Dr Shidan Tosif – Royal Children’s Hospital, RCH

Associate Professor Nigel Crawford – RCH

Professor Andrew Steer – RCH

Associate Professor Douglas Boyle – University of Melbourne

Professor Mark Taylor – University of Melbourne

Professor Kanta Subbarao – WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza

Dr Sebastian Duchene – Doherty Institute

Professor Joshua Ross – University of Adelaide

Dr Andrew Black – University of Adelaide

Project aim

The overall aim of ‘First Few X’ studies is to gain an early understanding of the infectiousness and severity of the first few hundred cases of a COVID-19 variant presenting in different countries around the world.

This information helps to support international understanding of this new variant. Within Australia, it will be used to guide public health recommendations, and support preparedness planning in hospitals and other parts of the health service to ensure that needed care is available for patients. It is particularly important to understand how emerging variants affect the Australian population, where we have a high level of vaccination but low exposure to COVID-19 disease.

Information and samples collected as part of the FFX study can help researchers and public health officials understand more about COVID-19. Collection of additional samples from FFX participants can also inform future aspects of the public health response to this disease. Involvement in these activities requires consent from all study participants.

Please visit https://www.apprise.org.au/ffx-covid19-research/ for current recruitment details.

The results obtained through this FFX project will provide valuable information about:

  • Understand the impact of vaccination on your ability to mount an immune response to the virus
  • Understand whether individuals diagnosed with infection make immune responses to COVID-19 that are likely to prevent further infections
  • See whether immune responses to the virus vary by age, or with underlying health status
  • Help to support the development and use of tests to rapidly assess whether people are immune to the virus
  • Identify participants who may have been infected with COVID-19 but were missed during the main study because they had few or no symptoms.

FFX project results will be used to:

  • Guide public health recommendations and interventions
  • Support preparedness planning in hospitals and other parts of the health service to ensure that needed care is available for patients throughout outbreaks.

Do you have more questions?

Please read our FAQ page for further information, or email us at ffx-info@unimelb.edu.au

If you are participating in the FFX project please contact your site project coordinator or state/territory department of health.

For all other enquiries, please call Laura Bannerman on 03 9035 7940.

Related Research Areas

  • Public health research
  • Clinical research and infection prevention
  • Key populations
  • Laboratory research

Related Cross-cutting Themes

  • Data management