Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is researching a new way of surveying how well protected we are from infectious diseases, including Group C meningococcus (MenC), diphtheria and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from a representative cross section of society.
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 take a blood test from individuals aged 0-19 to measure the antibody levels against important diseases, including those that are vaccine preventable. We are looking at population level information and cannot provide individual results.
This information will also help Public Health England and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) make decisions on how they manage the COVID-19 pandemic response now and in the future.
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.
What happens in this study?
- We are looking to enrol children and adults aged 0 to 19 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.
- Local anaesthetic skin cream can be used for children to reduce any discomfort from blood sampling.
- The whole appointment should take around 45 minutes.
Taking part in this research study is completely voluntary.
Recruitment for this study will target certain postcodes (NW6, NW8, W8, SW1, SW3,WC2) which have been identified by Public Health England as being representative of the UK population, however we welcome participants from all areas, particularly from Black, Asian and Minority communities.