Ab-C Risk: Action to Beat Coronavirus Sub-study on Population Immunity in High-Risk Groups in Canada

Jha, Prabhat | $499,302

Ontario Unity Health Toronto 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

We have been studying the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination on immunity among a representative sample of about 20,000 Canadian adults, in the Action to Beat Coronavirus in Canada (Ab-C) study, since early in the pandemic. Ab-C Risk will recruit an additional 1,000 Canadians belonging to higher risk demographic and ethnic groups. The Ab-C cohort was recruited in collaboration with the Angus Reid Institute, which will continue to lead in surveying participants periodically about COVID-related experiences, including infection, clinical signs and symptoms, exposures, PCR testing for the virus (including variants of concern), and vaccination. Ab-C relies on participants to self-collect finger prick blood samples on special paper, and send them to Unity Health for analysis for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Three rounds of surveys and blood samples have been completed. A fourth and fifth round, planned into 2022, will include the new Ab-C Risk cohort. The main Ab-C Risk research questions are: 1. What are the levels of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-induced and natural immunity among VIPs compared with other groups? 2. How does persistence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among VIPs compare with other groups? 3. Can we identify age-specific predictors of maintained and declining SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among VIPs compared with others? After each Phase, Ab-C publishes for a professional audience in high-impact journals, and for the public in a variety of forms, including Ab-C newsletters and interviews with the Canadian press. We plan to add video releases to be widely distributed to planners and others working with VIPs. The Ab-C team, from six Canadian research institutions and the Angus Reid Institute, combines experience in large-scale population epidemiology, demography and biostatistics, laboratory science, clinical infectious disease, Indigenous health, health economics and priority setting, health equity, IT, communications, and knowledge translation.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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