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 A National Immunisation Schedule Evaluation Consortium Study

The study has been granted National Public Health Emergency Priority status by the Department of Health.


The Oxford Vaccine Group is researching a new way of surveying how well protected we are from infectious diseases by collecting blood samples from people who represent different groups across society.

Why are we doing this study?

One of the ways our bodies develop protection against infectious diseases is by developing antibodies, either after an infection or following a vaccination.  We would like to do a blood test to measure the antibody levels against important diseases, including those that are vaccine preventable.

We would like to take a blood sample from people aged from birth to-24 years of age to look at their antibody levels against important infectious diseases. We are particularly interested in Group C meningococcus (MenC) and diphtheria and in the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This would help us understand whether we need to make any changes to the UK vaccine schedule, and tell us about the number of infections with COVID-19 in the UK.

What happens in this study?

  • We are looking to enrol children and adults aged from birth to 24 years old *.
  • There will be a single visit with a blood test. 
  • We will ask if you would be happy to take be approached for additional blood and saliva samples at 2 monthly intervals (this is optional and the maximum number of additional visits is 3)
  • We will ask you some basic information including age, gender, vaccination history.
  • We will arrange to see you in a clinic in a location near to you or in some cases in your home. 
  • Participants seen in clinics will be offered £20 reimbursement in the form of a voucher for taking part in the study. If they are seen at home there will be no reimbursement.
  • Local anaesthetic skin cream would be used for children to reduce any discomfort from blood sampling
  • The whole appointment should take around 45 minutes.


We are not actively looking to enrol individuals with known or suspected COVID-19, but instead want a snapshot of the general population. The test will not be able to tell if there is coronavirus present at the time of sampling. It is important to understand that we will not be providing individual participants (or their families) the results of their test. Although this might seem unusual, this is an important measure to try and make this study as accurate as possible. Put simply, we do not want to recruit too many people who feel they, or their child, might have had COVID-19 and ‘want to check’. This would give us inaccurate information about the spread of COVID-19 and immunity to this virus across the whole population.

Taking part in this research study is completely voluntary. 

New cohort: We are particularly interested in BAME communities that have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19

Please note : Recruitment for all sites/cohorts is now complete.


Find a Study Location


EMLA Video and Other Visit Information


View the Study Protocol v9.2 (PDF)


What’s the STORY?; OVG 2019/01; Website Text; REC Ref 19/LO/1040; IRAS 263097; Version 4.0; Dated 17-FEB-2021