300 Halton Healthcare workers taking part in COVID-19 Antibodies Study

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Published July 14, 2021 at 1:53 pm

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Halton Healthcare workers are rolling up their sleeves to take part in a study on COVID-19 antibodies.

Headed by Sick Kids, the eroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies – COVID-19 Antibodies in Healthcare Workers study is aimed at gaining a better understanding of the natural history of the deadly virus, in particular the antibody response.

Of the 3,000 healthcare workers across the GTA included in the study, 300 will be from Halton Healthcare.

“This study was originally designed in the early stages of the pandemic, before the vaccine, to study the antibody levels amongst healthcare workers who may have been in contact with the COVID-19 virus,” explained Dr. Laurence Chau, Principal Investigator of the COVID-19 Antibody Research Study at Halton Healthcare.

“It was going to examine how often healthcare workers are infected, the levels of antibodies naturally produced in response to the virus and how long these antibodies would provide these healthcare workers with immunity.”

However, the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, says Chau, was a real game changer because the vaccine triggers the body to produce antibodies.

“Therefore, the study’s protocols had to be changed with the rollout of the vaccine to measure both the levels of the antibodies produced naturally by the body to the COVID-19 virus as well as antibodies produced in response to the vaccine,” he said.

“The study will examine the potential benefits of antibody testing as a useful tool to guide healthcare worker management and inform on targeted testing strategies.”

Halton Healthcare workers participating in the study will include physicians, nurses, allied healthcare workers, clerks, screeners and environmental and food services staff.

Throughout the duration of the study, each of the healthcare workers will be have blood drawn at the three different stages.

Hopes are that the results will help them have a better understanding of herd immunity and help guide them in making public health decisions.

“We have participated in several COVID-19 trials and have a number of other exciting clinical research studies underway, Director of Clinical Research Program Dr. Michael Heffernan said.

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