COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness

COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness

NEW! Using serology to measure Vaccine Effectiveness (VE)  – in addition to our usual virology swab sampling. Please note that this collection is separate to the Convalescent Serology study.

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We are working with Public Health England (PHE) to measure COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and safety. Details of the COVID-19 vaccine surveillance strategy are at:

Please note: From March 2021, an updated Patient Information Sheet (PIS) for General Serology Surveillance + COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness and Lab form for COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Serology Surveillance are now available

Lab Request Form for COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness
Patient Information Sheet for COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness

Usual virology swabbing continues: The mainstay of our surveillance and VE work is taking virology swabs from patients who might have COVID-19, influenza or other respiratory infections.  Please can our current virology sampling practices continue to take virology swabs or invite patients to self-sample.  We ideally want 1,000 per week.  We welcome new RCGP RSC practices to join our virology sampling practices. Apply via:

NEW! Serology sampling to measure vaccine effectiveness (VE): We want more practices to take part in our extended serology surveillance by taking an additional blood bottle when patients attend for a blood test, or by offering an additional blood test. What is new is that we then want patients who have given serology samples, and subsequently have a COVID-19 vaccine, to give a further sample just before their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. We then want a final sample at least 3 months after their second vaccine dose.

If your practice would like to support our VE surveillance by providing samples, please email the Practice Liaison Officer (PLO) team at:

If your practice is not a member of RCGP RSC and you would like to join, please sign up using the following RSC Recruitment Form

More information about our new serology sampling to measure vaccine effectiveness (VE):

1. Collect pre- and post- vaccination blood samples for serology:

Please collect a serology sample prior to the first COVID-19 vaccine, this could be on the day or when patients attend for blood tests.  We only need verbal consent. No results go back to the practice or patient as tests are still in development.  Practices should also ask patients to have follow up blood samples before their second dose and 3 months after their second COVID-19 vaccine.  Serology provides a new way to measure vaccine effectiveness.

2. If you are a virology sampling practice - continue with virology swabbing for symptomatic patients

This is especially important if patients are presenting symptoms with symptoms that might be COVID-19 vaccine. We welcome new RCGP RSC practices want to take virology samples. Apply via:

3. Please code you have taken a sample in your computerised medical record system:

Coding is vitally important to the quality of data the RCGP RSC can extract, and for practice payments. Please code that a serology/virology when sample/swab is taken.