About Our Study



As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its deadly course around the globe, research efforts are closely focused on viral immunity, antibody responses, and vaccine development.

Increasing data indicates that exposure to the COVID-19 virus induces an antibody response in nearly all exposed individuals. However, questions remain about the protective value of these antibodies against repeat exposure to the virus, and how long this protection will last.

Furthermore, it is unclear whether there are differences in the virus-neutralizing ability of antibodies produced by asymptomatic carriers of the virus and individuals that develop severe COVID-19 infection.

" Given the devasting impact of COVID-19 on lives, health care, and the economy, the research community is racing to develop antiviral drugs and vaccines to Stop the Spread. "


We will recruit 1000 participants from the Ottawa region, who will participate for 10 months.

  • 500 will be participants at risk of exposure to COVID-19. These include populations who are in regular contact with large numbers of people (e.g. healthcare workers, long-term care workers, school teachers, pilots and other flight crew, and individuals who live in retirement homes).
  • 500 will be participants with any history of testing positive for COVID-19.

All participants will go for bloodwork at the beginning of the study, and collect and send Dried Blood Spot and sputum and/or saliva samples each month. We will provide instructions and videos to help you do this. You can also contact our study staff with questions. Only participants with a history of testing positive for COVID-19 will have bloodwork drawn each month.

The Serological and Diagnostic Core Facility research lab will conduct immune and viral analyses on samples. In the event of a positive test, your results will be faxed to Ottawa Public Health so they can follow-up with you. Our study staff will also be in touch to check in with you and discuss a few extra study activities that will help us collect important information at this time. These include a follow-up questionnaire and monthly bloodwork.

Your Impact

You make our research possible. We need answers now to help us predict the likelihood of additional waves of COVID-19, and to inform public health efforts and vaccine development.

Through your data, our study aims to:

  1. Enable early detection of infection and thereby reduce the spread of the virus.
  2. Get a better sense of the numbers of individuals with/without symptoms infected with COVID-19.
  3. Test antibodies in the blood of those infected to see how well they can neutralize the virus.
  4. Gain important information about immunity to COVID-19 and how long the immunity will last.
  5. Assess psychological and socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  6. Gain new knowledge that will help vaccine developers to create vaccines.