COVID-19: Linking science and policy using serological studies

Author: Stephan Kuster, Head of Institutional Affairs

Corona Immunitas, is a research program tracking and investigating the spread and impact of the coronavirus pandemic using seroepidemiological studies. The project is a brilliant example of using scientific data from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to help inform and hopefully improve the policymaking decision process, thereby strengthening the link between science and policy. Corona Immunitas is coordinated by the Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), the publisher of the International Journal of Public Health.

The expectation is that by offering reliable data to policymakers, progress will be made in understanding how seroepidemiological studies can be used to inform a response strategy for other urgent global health matters, including future pandemics. Not only will projects such as Corona Immunitas improve our understanding of the current virus outbreak in a specific country – such as Switzerland – but it will also enable policymakers around to world to think about how we might use serological data to be better prepared in the future.

Frontiers is a supporting partner of the Corona Immunitas project because we believe in its important mission. As a part of our support to this Swiss study, we are also showcasing a growing collection of seroepidemiological studies around the world on our Policy Labs platform. These were conducted worldwide predominantly in the first half of 2020.

The objective of this collection is to strengthen the relationship between science and policy, and ultimately, to enable better decision making on behalf of society. Seroepidemiological studies have great potential to inform policymakers on many different levels, from specific work, educational or social settings to entire countries.

To support this, Corona Immunitas coordinator Dr. Milo A. Puhan, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health of the University of Zurich, offers a commentary on what the data tells us, and how seroepidemiological studies can support policymakers in response to the pandemic.

Visit our Policy Labs for an overview of the collected serological studies, including  links to the published results.