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Over a thousand participants recruited to the STRAVINSKY study

New research is exploring if antibody testing can identify who remains at risk of COVID-19 after being vaccinated.

Over a thousand people with weakened immune systems have joined the ground-breaking study. University Hospital Southampton (UHS) is one of the highest recruiting sites.


Researchers are inviting more people to take part this winter.


STRAVINSKY is co-led by the University of Southampton and University of Birmingham. It is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care.


Still at risk


People with certain conditions may have a weakened immune system, either as a result of the condition or the treatment. This can mean COVID-19 vaccines provide less protection.


These ‘immunosuppressed’ people may still be at risk of severe COVID-19, even after they’ve been vaccinated. The researchers want to find out if antibody testing can identify those most at risk.


Professor Sean Lim, honorary consultant haemato-oncologist at UHS is a co-chief investigator.


Professor Lim said: “We have identified the groups of people who are more likely to develop severe COVID-19 disease, but each person’s personal risk is more difficult to predict. This study is a very important step in deciding the most appropriate prophylactic and treatment strategies.”


“There has been a fantastic response from patients and the public. We are extremely grateful to the generous support received from multiple different specialties including haematology, respiratory, surgery, oncology, hepatology and the adult congenital cardiac service.


“The study is also interested in recruiting participants with sickle cell disease, Down’s syndrome and learning disabilities and cardiac failure. We welcome all teams and patients who are interested in supporting the study get in touch.”


Taking part


Overall, the study aims to recruit 3,000 people nationally. This will include 2,600 people through remote appointments, and another 400 through in-person attendance.


Since recruitment started in September, over 1,000 participants have already joined. UHS has recruited the most in-person participants.


If you would like to be involved, please contact or Dr Lim


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