Study into the spread of the virus among the population

17-04-2020


The Blood Service is set to join forces with Sciensano to work up a map of the spread of the COVID 19 epidemic among the population at large. 


This is not an individual screening test

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
 
The tests are not performed by the Blood Service and the samples are pseudonymised when they are sent out.
 
Which means Sciensano will not be able to trace the test results back to any particular individual in any shape or form.
 
We would ask the donors not to donate blood for the purpose of having their blood tested.
 
The samples sent to Sciensano are solely intended for the purposes of epidemiological research seeking to gain a better understanding of the spread of the virus and of the population’s resistance.
 
These data will be used to work up models that will give scientists a better understanding of and enable us to better deal with a possible second wave of the virus.

 

 
Which data are sent to Sciensano?

The data sent to Sciensano are gender, age and province. The transmission of these data and samples is made to occur strictly in the public interest and in full compliance with the rules governing the protection of personal privacy. As such, every blood donation made during this time period serves as a very important input for this study, which is absolutely necessary to acquire a better understanding of this epidemic.


Why are these blood samples important to this study?

The Blood Service organises collections across the whole of Wallonia and a large part of the Brussels region. As such, the donors are a highly representative sample of the population. The fact that the blood donors are in good health is also another important factor to make sure that people who do not show any symptoms are also included in the study.


How will my data be processed?

Just to remind you, the data sent out are your age, gender and your province. The donor’s identity will be replaced by a code, for which only the Blood Service has the key. 
The aforementioned data are sent to Sciensano as part of a study that is solely intended to serve the public interest. All staff who work with these data are bound by their duty of professional secrecy and/or their duty of confidentiality. The identity of the donors will not be disclosed in any shape or form, and that includes the publication of the results.


As a donor, will I be sent information regarding the results of my tests?

The results of the individual tests will not be communicated. They are not significant to the donor’s individual state of health as there is an interval of a few weeks between the time of the donation and the time when the results become available, but also because it has not yet been scientifically established that the presence of antibodies as such actually fully protects a person against a new infection.