Frequently asked questions
Am I eligible to take part in the study? We are looking for healthcare workers that are working in healthcare organizations in the regions of the six study sites. We are accepting participants both with and without past infection, of all genders, and across all vaccine regimes (Pfizer or ChaDox). If you have any questions about your eligibility, please don’t hesitate to contact your study team.
Why should I take part in this study? People take part in research for may reasons. By taking part in PITCH you have an amazing opportunity to be contributing to the understanding of how the immune system responds to the different COVID-19 vaccine regimes. This information will be used in many years to come to support future research in the fight against COVID-19.
What can I expect at my appointment? The study will run slightly differently location to location. Generally you will be greeted by one of our healthcare workers who will ask you some questions about yourself, your COVID-19 history and your vaccination status. They will then take blood using the hospitals standard venepuncture protocol, exactly as you would usually get a blood test done at your GP or hospital appointments. You may then also be asked to provide a nasopharyngeal swab or a saliva sample to the team for analysis.
How long will my visit take? Appointments should take around 15 minutes.
Can I withdraw from the study? Of course! Your participation in the study is completely voluntary and you can withdraw your consent at any time should you change your mind. Any support you have given our study is greatly appreciated and donating samples once does not oblige you to continue participating in the future. If you no longer wish to participate and withdraw your consent for the study, please get in touch with your local site.
Are there any risks? As part of your participation, a blood sample will be taken from one of the veins in your arm. While it is very small, no procedure is completely without risk and there is a very small risk with giving blood from the needle. However, this risk is minimised with appropriate technique by individuals competent and signed off on the relevant procedures.
How are you processing my personal data? As part of the study, you are also providing us with some of your information. This is handled as securely as possible, and any information is anonymised. All personal information is handled with the appropriate care as required by the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR.
Will you tell me what my results are? This is unfortunately not possible. Information is anonymised upon collection of your samples in order to protect your personal information. As such, the research staff who process the samples do not know who the samples belong to and cannot contact you to inform you of your results.
Will this provide me with any information about my general health? The blood collected as part of the study is not used for regular blood tests conducted as part of a hospital or GP visit. We are focusing on separating T cells and antibodies from the blood and analysing those. As such, it is unlikely that we would identify anything in your blood that would relate to your general health (e.g. an undiagnosed disease). Should that be the case, however, all reasonable attempts would be made to get in contact with your GP and let you know.
Can I take part in other studies? It is up to you if you prefer to take part in other studies and we do not require that you are not part of other studies. We are aware that many groups may be interested in asking for your participation in their research. In some instances, e.g. for participants enrolled in the SIREN study, we work alongside and collaborate with those teams.
Who is funding this research? This study is primarily funded by the Department of Health and Social Care.
How can I get in touch? You are more than welcome to get in touch with your local site using the contact details provided here.