The Government is beginning a large-scale virus infection and antibody test study.

20,000 households in England are being contacted to take part in the first wave of a major new government study to track coronavirus (COVID-19) in the general population. The study will help improve understanding around the current rate of infection and how many people are likely to have developed antibodies to the virus.  Participants in the study will form a representative sample of the entire UK population by age and geography. The results will help scientists and the government in the ongoing response to the coronavirus outbreak, with initial findings expected to be available in early May.

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Meanwhile, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved a COVID-19 vaccine trial in just 7 working days from submission by the COVID-19 Oxford Vaccine Trial. Scientists in Oxford started working on designing a vaccine early in January 2020, and have now identified one to start the first clinical testing phase. If the vaccine is proven to be safe and effective in this and larger trials, it could protect people and help save lives.

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