Published 3 February 2021
The BSI's Immunology & COVID-19 taskforce have produced a new expert report which rapidly reviews current research on immunity and COVID-19 and sets out the key recommendations for future research.
The project has also been condensed into a question and answer blog, which is more accessible for those without a research background.
The report outlines four research recommendations to help increase our knowledge of the immune system's response following COVID-19 vaccination and natural infection. A better understanding of the immunological protection to COVID-19 via research studies and proper surveillance protocols will ensure the UK comes out from the pandemic swiftly while minimising risks.
To establish detailed studies of the immune response following COVID-19 vaccination and natural infection to identify how long immunity conferred by vaccination might last, how often booster vaccinations might be needed and to support the development of future vaccines.
To use structural biology modelling to build our understanding of how potential mutations in the virus may affect infectiousness. If we can predict these, we can proactively develop vaccines to combat them before they arise.
To implement ongoing, detailed monitoring of new SARS-CoV-2 variants that might emerge on a global scale and assess the level of protection that current COVID-19 vaccines might provide against these variants.
To monitor how well the different COVID-19 vaccines work in different age groups to make sure that the right vaccines are given to the right patients.
All information in the report is correct at time of printing on 2 February 2021.