More than one in four adults, or 27.8% of Quebecers, developed COVID-19 antibodies between late 2021 and mid-March 2022, according to a new study conducted by Héma-Québec.
• Also read: New restrictions in Beijing that looks like a ghost town
“The Omicron variant spread rapidly, overwhelming the ability to screen for acute SARS-CoV-2 infection with PCR testing in Quebec and the rest of Canada,” said Dr.right Tim Evans, Executive Director of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (TICG).
According to him, this is the best estimate of the full extent of the infection during the first Omicron wave.
For this fourth phase of the study of the seroprevalence of blood donors, the analyzes were carried out using a test that makes it possible to identify the antibodies present only in people recently infected with SARS-CoV-2.
The researchers compared antibody levels in the same person in two samples separated in time.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Héma-Québec has supported health authorities by conducting seroprevalence studies on blood or plasma donors.
“Héma-Québec has privileged access to donors who generously agree to participate in such studies and from whom samples can be easily obtained and analyzed in our laboratories,” said Dr.right Marc Germain, Vice President Medical Affairs and Innovation.
“Seroprevalence studies are proving very useful for health authorities to monitor the evolution of the pandemic. This data is also essential to validate the models used to predict the evolution of the pandemic,” said Dright Gaston De Serres, Chief Physician of the Immunization Division of the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ).
These studies are being conducted at the request of and thanks to the financial support of the Quebec Department of Health and Human Services (MSSS) and the Government of Canada through the (GTIC).
Decreased blood supply
Daily blood and plasma collection bears the brunt of this increased presence of COVID-19 in the population, especially since late March.
Héma-Québec is struggling to meet its weekly goals due to cancellations by people living with COVID-19.
However, the need remains the same: every 80 seconds, a person in Quebec needs a blood donation and 1,000 donations are needed per day to meet the needs of hospitals.
Héma-Québec is launching a call to reach the required number of donations.
Héma-Québec invites everyone to schedule a donation now by scheduling an appointment on their website at hema-quebec.qc.ca or at 1.800.343-7264 (SANG).
People who pass a collection point or a donation center are asked to find out about the possibility of making a donation on site.
Héma-Québec is also asking anyone who has made an appointment and is unable to remember to cancel it.