«Corona Immunitas»: Participation in Study

How many people have already been infected with the Corona virus in the Canton of Lucerne? Researchers from the Department of Health Sciences and Medicine together with the Lucerne Cantonal Hospital want to find out as part of a national study.

Pipetting of blood samples for a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test. (Photo: «Corona Immunitas»)

Based on a random sample selected by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, 2000 adults from two age groups (20–64 years; 65+ years) living in the canton of Lucerne were invited to participate in the study. Blood is taken from participants to measure the antibodies. In addition, they fill out questionnaires about their symptoms, their behaviour and the effects of the pandemic on themselves. The first test phase has started now, the second is expected to take place in May and June 2021.

With reliable epidemiological data, «Corona Immunitas» provides politicians with a basis for decisions on appropriate and effective measures to protect the Swiss population and the health care system. In addition, the Swiss-wide studies help to plan vaccination programs and to better prepare for future coronavirus waves or other virus outbreaks. As part of the national «Corona Immunitas» effort, the Lucerne study will help monitor the spread of the coronavirus in Switzerland.

Team at the University and the Cantonal Hospital

The team in Lucerne consists of Prof. Dr. Gisela Michel and Prof. Dr. Reto Babst (leaders of the study in Lucerne), Dr. Erika Harju and Dr. Irène Frank (coordination and communication) as well as a team for data management and administration, partly with a nursing background (Christine Krähenbühl, Marion Leutenegger and Chantal Lüdi). Other nursing staff provide on-site support for blood sampling. 

The nationwide «Corona Immunitas» programme is managed by the Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+). As an inter-university faculty, the SSPH+ unites twelve Swiss universities and universities of applied sciences. Eleven universities and health organizations are implementing the Corona Immunitas program in a coordinated manner at national level. In addition, individual SSPH+ members research specific and complementary questions.