With the continued transmission of the Omicron variant in Canada, infection-acquired seroprevalence increased again within the blood donor community, from 46.3% at the end of May to 50.7% by the end of June.
The latest serosurvey conducted by Héma-Québec estimates that 45.3% of adults in Quebec developed infection-acquired antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 between December 2021 and June 2022, up from 27.3% in mid-March 2022.
With the arrival of a 7th wave of the pandemic this summer – when we had hoped for some temporary respite from the onslaught of SARS-CoV-2 infections – we approached CITF-affiliated experts for answers to some of the most pressing and perplexing questions about COVID-19.
Pregnant people are at an increased risk of adverse effects from SARS-CoV-2 infection (the infection that causes COVID-19 disease) and are more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit compared to non-pregnant individuals (1-4). Overall, people with COVID-19 who are pregnant are 2.65 times more likely to require hospitalization and 5.46 times more likely to be admitted to ICU than non-pregnant individuals with COVID-19 (4). COVID-19 has also been associated with increased risks of preeclampsia, preterm birth, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes (5). Thus, vaccination is an important tool for ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
In a preprint, not yet peer-reviewed, a CITF-funded study led by Dr. Ryan Troyer (Western University) developed four spike-based vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and measured antibody and cellular responses.
A CITF-funded study, led by Drs. Brian Grunau and David Goldfarb and Pascal Lavoie (University of British Columbia), and Sheila O’Brien and Steven Drews of Canadian Blood Services, and published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, tested the sensitivity of the Roche anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid assay.