Study to begin in Sheffied into why some groups are more seriously affected by Covid than others

Sheffield is set to host a ‘pop up’ blood donation centre to help a ground-breaking COVID-19 research study aimed at finding out why some people - particularly those of Asian and Black heritage - are more seriously affected by coronavirus.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 11:35 am

From Saturday, May 15th, people in the city who caught the virus but did not require hospital treatment will be able to donate a blood sample at a temporary, COVID-secure centre at the Crowne Plaza Royal Victoria Hotel near Sheffield city centre.

For people who can’t or don’t wish to travel, the scheme also offers volunteers the option of making an appointment for a nurse to visit their home.

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A ‘pop up’ blood donation centre is to open in Sheffield aimed at finding out why some groups are more seriously affacted by Covid than others.

The study will analyse the genes of people who have had the virus to discover why some experienced no symptoms while others became extremely ill. The project has already contributed to the fight again COVID, with preliminary results helping identify possible new treatments.

However, for the study to continue to make progress the scientists urgently need to recruit more people from all backgrounds and are appealing to those who had the virus but didn’t require hospital treatment to sign up. Along with seeking the help of members of Asian and Black communities, they’re also keen for more men to volunteer.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals has been recruiting critically ill patients into the nationwide study, which is being led by Genomics England in partnership with the University of Edinburgh.

“Over the last 12 months we’ve been caring for thousands of patients who have been severely affected by Covid-19. Yet some people who have had the virus experience milder symptoms, or none at all,” said Professor Gary Mills, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and principal investigator for the study in Sheffield.

“Sadly, Covid’s effect in the community has disproportionately been felt by people of Asian and Black heritage and this study provides us with an opportunity to try to better understand why. We strongly encourage the city’s ethnic and minority communities to support this study to help us discover new ways of beating the virus.”

The research project is open to anyone who tested positive to COVID but experienced mild or no symptoms and didn’t require hospital treatment – volunteers can register online at https://covid.genomicc.org.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.