The SIREN examine: Two years on


Two years in the past, we launched the SARS-CoV2- Immunity and Reinfection Analysis Examine, referred to as SIREN, the biggest of its sort globally. The examine got down to discover solutions to a number of the most essential questions on COVID-19.

The SIREN examine screens infections in a big group of healthcare employees who present samples for normal PCR and antibody testing.  Evaluation of those samples helps the UK to guage the immune response to COVID-19, supplies perception into COVID-19 reinfections and has helped us to construct an understanding of the extent of safety provided by vaccines.

The dimensions of the SIREN examine has been staggering. In two years, it has carried out over one million PCR assessments, over 400,000 blood assessments and engaged with virtually 45,000 contributors from 135 NHS websites throughout the UK.

A graphic showing numbers related to the SIREN study: 1,101,774 PCR tests, 419,212, 135 NSH trusts, 44,546 healthcare workers, 4 UK nations.

The variety of assessments, websites, contributors and nations concerned within the SIREN examine. Knowledge appropriate as of June 2022.

We’ve helped reply a number of the most urgent questions on COVID-19, enabling decision-makers – each nationwide and regionally – to manage the unfold of the illness. Two years into our analysis, listed here are the principle issues we’ve learnt:

How efficient is earlier an infection and vaccination towards COVID-19?

In our first 12 months we discovered that earlier an infection with COVID-19 provided excessive safety towards reinfection for a number of months, throughout wild-type and Alpha-variant dominant durations. We additionally discovered that COVID-19 vaccination was extremely efficient in lowering infections (each symptomatic and asymptomatic) within the speedy months after vaccination.

In our second 12 months we investigated the sturdiness of safety following vaccination and amongst these vaccinated after a earlier an infection, through the Delta-variant dominant interval.

We discovered proof of waning safety six months after two vaccine doses in these with out earlier an infection, and this knowledgeable recommendation on deploying booster doses. We additionally demonstrated the worth of vaccination on these with earlier an infection, with these subsequently vaccinated having safety constantly larger than 90% for an extended time frame in comparison with these with earlier an infection who remained unvaccinated.

When the Omicron variant emerged in December 2021, we discovered safety from both two doses of the vaccine or earlier an infection to wane, whereas a booster dose helped to revive a few of this waning immunity. This analysis helped to tell the widening of the booster vaccination marketing campaign.

We’ve constructed collaborations with immunologists in a number of educational organisations to know why some people get reinfections and breakthrough infections – this can be essential to understanding future vaccine targets.

How can we maintain the examine going?

The SIREN examine wouldn’t be attainable with out the efforts and dedication of contributors from across the UK, and we want to say an enormous thanks to those people. These contributors have volunteered to endure fortnightly testing and supply quarterly blood samples all whereas finishing up their day jobs within the NHS beneath a number of the most difficult circumstances the workforce has ever seen.

We’d additionally prefer to thank the 135 NHS websites who’ve inspired their workers to take part within the examine, together with the all-important laboratory and analysis groups.

Our method to sustaining participant curiosity within the examine included newsletters, webinars, video messages and celebration occasions. We additionally recruited a Participant Involvement Panel:

The SIREN participant panel is comprised of seven SIREN examine contributors recruited from a various vary {of professional} backgrounds and places. As a panel we’ve met commonly to contribute to the goals of the SIREN examine, together with offering open and sincere suggestions on its analysis goals and outputs, serving to with engagement actions and guaranteeing participant considerations are heard. We’ve valued the chance to contribute to a examine which has helped inform key selections being made concerning the COVID-19 response within the UK.

SIREN Participant Involvement Panel, June 2022

We’ve additionally constructed sturdy multidisciplinary collaborations with lecturers from main UK analysis establishments, enabling us to mix epidemiological, viral, immunological, genomic and medical experience.

What subsequent?

We’re actually happy that the SIREN examine has been funded to proceed participant follow-up in all 4 nations by to 31 March 2023. That is testomony to how nicely SIREN is valued by these main the COVID-19 response.

As group testing has decreased, the surveillance function of SIREN in monitoring an infection developments and rising variants has change into more and more essential to tell the nationwide COVID-19 response.  SIREN may have an essential perform all through the approaching Winter whereas the NHS offers with seasonal pressures, with influenza, seasonal viruses and ensuing workers absence.

Going ahead we’ll keep our dedication to addressing important analysis questions. What’s the influence of latest variants? What impact does reinfection have put up vaccination? What’s the influence of COVID-19 vaccine booster programmes?

This analysis wouldn’t be attainable with out the efforts and dedication of so many individuals, together with contributors, NHS websites, laboratory groups and extra.

A webpage to share extra details about the SIREN examine can now be discovered right here.


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