Research carried out to establish current level of Covid-19 immunity on sample of Maltese population

A study on thousands of blood samples taken from people who contracted Covid-19, others who were vaccinated and those who were neither vaccinated nor infected are expected to show the current level of immunity of the Maltese population.

Television Malta spoke to Professor Godfrey Grech about this research for which 4,000 samples are being collected.

Blood samples being from the National Blood Transfusion Centre in Guardamangia will be analyzed to establish the immunity of people whether or not they have been infected with COVID, and whether they have been vaccinated or otherwise.

Professor Godfrey Grech from the University of Malta is leading the Cov Plex project and told TVM how blood samples from 4,000 people are currently being collected.

“The cohort is unique because we will have people who are not vaccinated, who have not been in contact with the virus and these are the most important group in the project because they will be used as a control group for comparison purposes, also to compare special blood cells that produce these antibodies, with those that tested positive for COVID and those that are vaccinated.

Professor Grech said 400 samples had already been collected, half of which were from unvaccinated people who did not have have Covid. Professor Grech explained how in the coming days an analysis will begin at the University of Malta, which will, among other things, establish how the body reacts to the virus.

“Now we will start processing the blood and from this week we will start the anti body testing. We will divide them between those that are positive for antibodies and those that are negative. Research will continue on those who are positive to see those who truly neutralize the virus”, said Prof. Greek.

He said as a result of this research an innovative test can also be developed to measure immunity to the virus nationwide after everyone is vaccinated. The project is being carried out with an investment of € 660,000, with funding from the Malta Council for Science and Technology and Malta Enterprise.