The SIREN Study, developed by Public Health England (PHE), has released results which indicate recovering from coronavirus (COVID-19) provides some immunity for at least 5 months. The study concluded that during these months, naturally acquired immunity as a result of a past infection provided 83% protection against re-infection, compared to people who have not had the disease. During this period people may still carry and transmit the virus during this time. This represents an important step in the global understanding of the disease.

Beginning in June 2020, the study involved regular testing of tens of thousands of volunteer healthcare professionals. More than 3,800 people took part in this research in the South West.

The study was supported locally by staff from Somerset NHS Foundation TrustRoyal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation TrustNorthern Devon Healthcare NHS TrustRoyal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation TrustTorbay & South Devon NHS Foundation TrustCornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

The SIREN Study results do not provide evidence towards antibody or immune response to COVID-19 vaccines, but the study team will begin to explore this further over the course of this year.

These results come at a crucial time, as research delivery staff work to balance increasing pressure to deliver Urgent Public Health studies, the restarting of research paused as a result of Covid-19 and the coordination of Covid-19 vaccine trials.