PRECISE Study on Prevalence of Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in Irish Healthcare Workers

In October 2020, a series of national seroprevalence studies entitled PRECISE were launched to look at the prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies in healthcare workers (HCW) in two hospitals: University Hospital Galway and St James’s Hospital Dublin. All staff working in these two hospitals were invited to have a blood test taken to determine the presence of antibodies produced after COVID-19 infection.

A second study was conducted in April 2021 in the same hospitals to evaluate changes in the number of infections 6-months later and to assess the response to COVID-19 vaccination in the meantime. In this study, over 5,000 HCW (56% of staff) across the two sites participated and all roles in the hospitals were represented. This included nurses, doctors, healthcare assistants (HCA), administration staff and general support staff.

In November 2021, the study was again repeated to follow those HCW who had participated in the previous PRECISE studies. More than 2,300 HCW participated in this study which set out to assess further changes over time and durability of antibodies in HCW before receiving the COVID-19 booster vaccination.