Project summary:

COVID-19 may affect ethnic minority groups more severely than those of white ethnicity. We are investigating the impact of ethnicity on the outcomes from COVID-19 in a group of healthcare workers across the UK in an urgent public health study called UK-REACH.  The immune system is critical to the outcome of COVID-19, including protection against future infection. We do not yet know if immunity to COVID-19 is different in ethnic minority individuals compared to white individuals.

BE-DIRECT forms part of the larger UK-REACH project, in BE-DIRECT we are recruiting healthcare workers and ancillary workers employed by University of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) and Leicestershire Partnerships Trust can participate. Participants complete a questionnaire that asks questions about them, their job, home life, physical/mental health, COVID-19 exposure and vaccination status. We are collecting blood samples (including samples following COVID-19 booster vaccines) to provide detailed information about their immune system and how it responds to COVID-19 infection and vaccination.  Alongside this, we are also looking at the magnitude and duration of flu antibody responses in some of our participants. Understanding this, and how it relates to COVID-19 immune responses (infection and vaccination), will enable us to understand the impact of the influenza vaccine on the immune response to COVID-19 vaccination and vice versa.


The National Core Studies Programme 

Leader researcher:

Dr Manish Pareek

Lead institution:

University of Leicester

Recruitment for clinical trial open: