BY-COVID Spring 2024 Baseline Use Case Workshop

  • Marjan Meurisse (Organiser)
  • Saldner, S. (Organiser)
  • Kalaitzi, V. (Chair)
  • Nina Van Goethem (Contributor)
  • Enrique Bernal-Delgado (Contributor)
  • Francisco Estupiñán-Romero (Contributor)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventWorkshop, seminarAcademic


The baseline use case, developed in the BY-COVID Demonstrator Project (WP5), is prototyping a workflow standard for population health research. The workflow provides a structured process for causal inference based on real-world observational data to respond to policy-relevant questions.

Conducting causal research, which often implies the need for detailed individual-level data to mitigate confounding across national borders, brings challenges in terms of sensitive data access and interoperability. This federated analysis workflow is designed to leverage real-world heterogeneous data sources from different domains in multiple countries in a privacy-preserving and interoperable way, using valuable and innovative technologies like Directed Acyclic Graphs, synthetic data, and containerisation. A detailed description of the proposed framework has been described by Meurisse & Estupiñán‑Romero et al., 2023.

A policy-relevant research question on real-world vaccine effectiveness has been defined and is used to demonstrate the implementation of the described framework. More specifically, we aim to investigate the real-world effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 primary vaccination as compared to partial or no vaccination in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in resident populations spanning different countries. For this, we have designed an observational study to emulate the hypothetical target trial to estimate the causal effect of interest. Details on the methodology can be consulted in the published study protocol.

Further developments in the baseline use case will address how to integrate additional data types. Here, we will focus on those data sources containing information on individual-level socioeconomic status (SES) originating from Social Sciences. The integration of socioeconomic data into health research has gained significant attention in recent years, acknowledging that social determinants can play a crucial role in shaping health outcomes. A first Workshop was held in April 2023 on the “Integration of socioeconomic data in observational studies on vaccine effectiveness” to promote these developments and stimulate community discussion. The workshop report has been published and forms the basis of the current work.

The current workshop aims (1) to identify solutions for integrating socioeconomic data in population health research; (2) generalise such solutions in various disciplinary and geographical contexts (EU-level focus); and (3) translate the workshop findings into an innovative workflow standard to federated population health research.
Period06 Jun 2024
Event typeWorkshop
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • COVID-19
  • social sciences
  • Federated data infrastructure
  • Synthetic data