97% Of South African Participants Had COVID Antibodies

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The results from the HUTS 2 COVID-19 antibody testing are in! Our findings show that on average 97% of participants had COVID-19 antibodies after Omicron (April 2022). This is more than double the number of originally seen with antibodies to COVID-19, when compared to the first time our teams visited these areas during HUTS-1 (April 2021).

A total of 4,821 individuals were enrolled in HUTS-2, about 50% from each site. Of these participants, 61% were female, and the average age was 34 years (range 2 to 93 years).

Only 2% of participants reported having respiratory illness symptoms, and less than 1% had severe symptoms.

COVID Prevelence Rate In South Africa. South Africa went from roughly 40% positive rates to 97 to 100%.
The COVID Vaccination Rate In South Africa. KZN has a much higher rate of vaccination than mitchells plain.

The number of people with antibodies is high, but it is important to get vaccinated and for those who are vaccinated to get their boosters. This will allow us to keep our level of protection against this pandemic high.

Only 21% of participants eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination reported to be fully or partially vaccinated, with most vaccinations recorded by the Pietermaritzburg participants (31% vs 13%).

Behind The Scenes On This Study

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), with research partners, Epicentre Health Research, and Genesis Analytics, have officially finished the follow-up study on SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence (COVID-19 Antibodies) in two districts of South Africa. Participants were recruited from those had taken part in the first round of the Healthcare Utilisation and Seroprevalence (HUTS-1) survey.

Where Was The Study Done?

The follow-up seroprevalence study (HUTS-2) was conducted in Pietermaritzburg (KwaZulu-Natal) and Mitchell’s Plain (Western Cape).

At each site, households that took part in the first round of HUTS were asked to take part in the follow-up.

Studying COVID In Mitchells Plain

We hired a talented local photographer to follow one of our top teams to give you a day in the life of a COVID researcher working in Mitchells Plain. We work directly with our community to keep our teams safe, get an inside peek at what an average day looks like.

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Who Participated In The Study?

Whilst a total of 4,821 individuals were enrolled. The target was to enrol 2,400 individuals from each site, with the majority being participants from the HUTS-1 and a few new participants who were living in the HUTS-1 households visited.

We would like to thank all community members and HUTS participants for supporting this valuable research. As a result of the successful outcomes and importance of the results, HUTS will continue with additional visits later this year and again next year. We look forward to visiting you again!

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