Friday, October 23, 2020

Update on ONS Covid19 infection survey

 On 11 October I posted here

on my experience as a volunteer taking part in the study being run by the Office for National Statistic (ONS)

The survey is being run by the US based multi National

It had taken a number of attempts to try and organise an initial visit for swab and blood tests. 

Finally, I had these tests on Saturday 10 October but had to wait until Wednesday 21 October to receive a letter (via Royal Mail - not email or text?) to tell me that the swab test was negative. I understand (and hope) that if it was positive the survey would have contacted me by telephone before this but I must admit I am not full of confidence that this would have happened in a timely manner. 

IQVIA do not send you the results of your blood test back, which is a shame. It would have been very interesting to find out if I had Covid-19 in the past. I know that if you had it this would not mean you are not totally immune to catching Covid-19 again. 

I had volunteered to have weekly swab tests and monthly blood tests. Since I was told my next swab test would be a week later I waited until the following Saturday but heard nothing so I rang the IQVIA call centre. I was unable to speak to anyone so left a message. 

No-one got back to me then on Wednesday a lady rang to arrange an appointment for a swab test the following day. She could not meet me at my workplace (which is also in Newham) so I agreed to come home on Thursday at 1.30pm from work for the test. She rang about 2.15pm to say she could find my address but was nearby. I gave her directions and left my MS teams meeting that I was chairing on Pensions and waited outside. She gave me a swab kit and then waited while I did the test indoors (I am getting quite used to them now). I handed her back the test kit, she asked some basic health questions then went off. 

So, it is a bit of a saga but I hope a worthwhile exercise. I wish it was better organised and that instead of a "for profit" multinational running this exercise it was being organised by our local NHS/public health team. While we are not perfect at least noone is making (I assume) huge profits from the Covid-19 emergency. I would still encourage anyone who is invited to take part in the survey to do so. 

Will update further as and when.  

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