The COVID-19 Immunity Task Force welcomes the results of the blood donor seroprevalence study led by Héma-Québec and will be working with that organization to validate these results through the use of another antibody test. We look forward to reporting on these results in the coming weeks together with Héma-Québec.
The Héma-Québec study results suggest that even in the Canadian province most-affected by COVID-19, levels of infection, as measured by antibodies in the blood, are very low. Moreover, even in Montreal, the city most affected by COVID-19 in Canada, the levels of infection are only about 3% of the adult population.
Similar to the initial results released two weeks ago by the CITF and Canada Blood Services, the results today confirm the following:
- The vast majority of adult Canadians have not been infected by SARS-CoV-2. This reflects very positively on the collective efforts of all actors, especially individual citizens, to practice good public health;
- Given the very low rates of infection, there is little to no likelihood that levels of immunity in the population are high enough to slow down a second wave of COVID-19 infection. As such, continued vigilance and adherence to best public health practices are imperative;
- Continued monitoring using antibody testing will be helpful in understanding disease transmission. The Héma-Québec study identified that the Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec region had a reported COVID-19 rate that was three times lower than in Montreal or Laval, but nevertheless had almost an identical seroprevalence of 2.96%! These sorts of findings are important to re-direct public health efforts to understand the greater than expected transmission in this region.
View the entire Héma-Québec news release.