Coronavirus Immunity Study

A consortium of the NHS, Public Health England, the University of Cambridge and other members, collectively called the 'Humoral Immune Correlates for COVID-19 Consortium', or HICC, have commissioned this study to better respond to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic through understanding protective immune responses after COVID-19 infection and/or vaccination.

After being exposed to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) or being vaccinated, our bodies produce antibodies. Some of these, called neutralising antibodies, can protect us against the virus. We need to understand what level of antibody is needed to protect us from infection and how long these protective antibodies last after infection or vaccination. This information is critical to help us control the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

To answer these critical questions, we are looking for volunteers to take monthly finger-prick blood samples using our home kits and mail them in using the prepacked, prelabelled envelopes provided. We will then analyse these samples to determine whether you have neutralising antibodies and we will report back to you the result. At the moment we do not know what level of neutralising antibody protects individuals from COVID-19 and this will form part of this research.

Who can register for this study

You are welcome to participate if you meet the following criteria:

•    Royal Papworth NHS Foundation Trust (RPH) NHS Health Care worker or Patient 
•    Are recruited to participate in the RPH Immunity Study and have already signed an informed consent form at RPH
•    Happy for us to test your blood for antibodies to COVID-19
•    Willing to use a home finger-prick blood test once a month for up to half a year
•    Over the age of 18

 


Why join the study

Participating in this study helps the NHS and research scientists learn what levels of neutralising antibodies are needed to be protected from COVID-19. This will help us understand the effectiveness of a given vaccine against circulating variants and thus how vaccination will help us come out of this pandemic.

 

We will report back whether you have evidence of an antibody response to the COVID-19 vaccination. Based on current understanding, this suggests that you may be protected from severe COVID-19 however, the situation is dynamic as new virus variants emerge and it remains important that you follow current government guidelines regarding managing risk of COVID-19.

 


What to expect

Participation is voluntary.

 

You will be invited to complete a registration form. This form should take 5 to 10 minutes to complete. It includes information on how we will handle your data and how to opt out at any time in the future, and asks some basic questions such as whether you have been vaccinated.  

No information from this form will be sent until you press 'submit' at the end of this survey. You may email contact@hicc-consortium.com if you have any questions.

An antibody testing kit will then be mailed to your home address once a month and will contain everything you need to do a finger-prick blood test. You will then send it freepost in the pre-labelled envelope to the study team.

 

We will report the result of the test to you by the email address you have provided. We will also let the RPH study know the result of your test.

 

Please select next to continue.

Are you OK doing a finger-prick blood test at home?

The kit contains step-by-step instructions and a finger-prick tool (you will not see any needle). Ask a friend or family member for help if you want.

 

Do not do this test if you take anticoagulants ('blood-thinning' medicines) or you have a blood clotting disorder such as haemophilia.

Watch how to collect your blood sample:

If you are okay with doing a fingerprick test and are happy to proceed to register as a participant in this study, please press Continue.