Paramedics are at high risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but details of what puts them most at risk of exposure have not yet been studied.
In collaboration with researchers at the University of British Columbia and University of Toronto, OCRC scientists are leading a study to investigate occupational risk factors associated with COVID-19 amongst paramedics, as well as infection rates, vaccination rates, and immunity measures. The study is funded by the Government of Canada through the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force.
The results of the study will inform workplace health and safety guidelines aimed at protecting paramedics from developing COVID-19, as well as future infectious disease outbreaks, by identifying high-risk tasks and effective prevention control strategies. Immunity will be investigated by measuring antibody levels in the blood over time, to determine how many paramedics have had COVID-19 (even if they were asymptomatic) or been vaccinated, and how long their antibodies last.
The study is now recruiting paramedics in Ontario and British Columbia. Participants will be asked to complete surveys and give blood samples three times over a one-year time period.