CORONAIMMU - SSPH+ Corona Immunitas
Rationale for Corona Immunitas: SSPH+ has initiated an unprecedented effort to coordinate public health research on SARS-CoV-2 across Switzerland. The goal of Corona Immunitas is to make the more than 20 studies across Switzerland as interoperable as possible to provide comparable, valid and complementary evidence and data. Thus, many open questions of great importance to political, institutional and other decision-makers can be addressed in an efficient way. Important questions addressed by Corona Immunitas: The Corona Immunitas studies determine repeatedly the spread of the corona virus in different regions of Switzerland and specific groups of the population and work force. Over time, these studies provide an evaluation of the impact of lifting certain measures of the lockdown like school and business openings, and of protective measures for particularly exposed or vulnerable groups. Importantly, the Corona Immunitas studies also address burning questions, e.g. if there is immunity after an infection and how long it lasts. However, the Corona Immunitas studies go well beyond simple antibody testing. They include detailed assessments of the impact of the pandemic on mental and physical health, social and work life. Additional questions are likely yet to emerge. Corona Immunitas is organized in such a way that the partners are responsive to emerging needs for additional studies which are of interest to national or cantonal authorities, economic sectors or other stakeholders. Design of Corona Immunitas studies: All Corona Immunitas studies start with the same, standardized questionnaires and antibody testing methods with the most valid available tests. Participants are then invited into a digital follow-up with short weekly and more detailed monthly questions. This cohort study design is standardized across all studies in the general population and specific subpopulations. Some of the studies will also include virus and repeated antibody testing. The studies will also contribute to validating antibody tests and different ways of determining antibodies from venous or capillary blood or saliva. Data management and maintenance takes place at all sites and is brought together by a central data coordinating center. What SSPH+ and the Corona Immunitas research program contribute: Corona Immunitas provides a compass on the corona virus epidemic in Switzerland that guides decision-makers and allows evaluating the impact of their decisions. The studies also contribute to the planning of vaccination programs, once vaccines become available, and to an improved preparation for future waves of the corona virus pandemic or other pandemics. This will hopefully reduce the risk that drastic measures like lockdowns are needed again. The SSPH+ research program is unique worldwide since it represents a coordinated effort within a country that is much stronger than the sum of the contributions of each research institution.