Just under 300 members of staff at Walsall Healthcare have been taking part in the national SIREN study which examines whether prior infection with SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) protects against future infection with the same virus.
The study has been running at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust for six months now and 286 participants, with varied ages, ethnicity and backgrounds, have signed up to it. They include porters, midwives, doctors and nurses and their involvement will provide valuable information on immunity and vaccination.
SIREN is enabling experts to explore immunity to COVID-19 amongst healthcare staff and this is now being expanded to look at immunity from vaccinations from any healthcare staff who have received theirs.
Dr Marie Lewis, Walsall Healthcare’s Associate Director for Research and Professional Development, said: “Research is more important than ever and if we are to gain a better understanding of viruses such as Covid-19 we need people willing to take part in studies such as this.
“I’d like to thank our staff who have come forward to be part of SIREN. They shouldn’t underestimate how significant a role they are playing – vaccines are helping shape SIREN to inform national policy in the UK and our staff are contributing to this.”
There is still time for more male staff, those from minority ethnic groups, and non-clinical support staff to get involved. The study has received approval from the NHS Health Research Authority Berkshire Research Ethics Committee and is funded by the National Institute of Health Research and Public Health England.