Flemish population study into group immunity covid-19 has started – Science

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The Red Cross and Sciensano are launching a large-scale population study into the presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. The Red Cross will make available a large amount of blood samples from donors for this purpose.

Chances are that a large number of Flemish people have already been infected with SARS-CoV-2 without knowing it. To gain insight into the resistance that is currently being developed in the Flemish population against the coronavirus and to map the effective number of infections in Flanders, Sciensano is launching a population study in collaboration with the Red Cross.

This information can lead to good, reliable models that map the evolution of the epidemic, coupled with a possible relaxation of the measures. The knowledge can also be used to prepare us for a second corona wave.

Representative

The donors of Belgian Red Cross-Flanders form an ideal test population that is representative of the general population: they come from all over Flanders and they ensure a continuous supply of samples so that this research can run over a longer period.

In addition, donors are healthy and feel fit. This also involves cases without symptoms and we rule out that underlying medical conditions have an effect on the test results in this study. Because the samples of such a large and diverse group – with a good spread of age and gender – are tested, the results can be extrapolated to the entire population without any problems.

Group immunity

“As an organization, we consider it our duty to cooperate with this investigation,” he says. Philippe Vandekerckhove, CEO of Belgian Red Cross-Flanders. “Through our contribution, we can help us learn more about the virus and gain insight into the extent to which the general population is developing resistance to the virus.”

As of Thursday, the Red Cross will deliver about 3,000 blood samples every two weeks to Sciensano, who will then examine them further and test for the presence of antibodies against the coronavirus.

Two very important conclusions can be drawn from this. On the one hand the effective degree of contamination in Flanders, on the other hand the development and strength of the resistance. The greater the group immunity, the less strong the virus is in a subsequent wave.

All samples remain anonymous, except for gender, year of birth, the province where you live and the date of collection. Donors can give their consent via the medical questionnaire to be completed just before each donation.

Testing for corona samples

In addition, the Red Cross also conducts corona tests on nasal mucosa to support hospital laboratories and to increase test capacity in Flanders.

Chances are that a large number of Flemish people have already been infected with SARS-CoV-2 without knowing it. To gain insight into the resistance that is currently being developed in the Flemish population against the coronavirus and to map the effective number of infections in Flanders, Sciensano is launching a population study in collaboration with the Red Cross. This information can lead to good, reliable models that map the evolution of the epidemic, coupled with a possible relaxation of the measures. The knowledge can also be used to prepare us for a second corona wave. Representative The donors of Belgian Red Cross-Flanders form an ideal test population that is representative of the general population: they come from all over Flanders and they ensure a continuous supply of samples so that this research can run over a longer period. In addition, donors are healthy and feel fit. This also involves cases without symptoms and we rule out that underlying medical conditions have an effect on the test results in this study. Because the samples of such a large and diverse group – with a good distribution of age and gender – are tested, the results can be extrapolated without problems to the entire population. Group immunity ‘We consider it our task to provide our cooperation to this research, “says. Philippe Vandekerckhove, CEO of Belgian Red Cross-Flanders. “Through our contribution, we can help us learn more about the virus and gain insight into the extent to which the general population is developing resistance to the virus.” As of Thursday, the Red Cross will deliver about 3,000 blood samples every two weeks to Sciensano, who will then examine them further and test for the presence of antibodies against the coronavirus. Two very important conclusions can be drawn from this. On the one hand the effective degree of contamination in Flanders, on the other hand the development and strength of the resistance. The greater the group immunity, the less strong the virus is in the next wave. All samples remain anonymous, with the exception of sex, year of birth, the province where you live and the date of collection. Donors can give their consent via the medical questionnaire to be completed just before each donation. In addition, the Red Cross also conducts corona tests on nasal mucous membranes to support hospital laboratories and to increase testing capacity in Flanders.

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