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Coronavirus: Research

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 144844, tabled on 27 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support long term studies into covid-19 immunity.

Answered on

5 February 2021

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has invested nearly £500 million towards 2,200 new research and innovation initiatives, both in the UK and globally. These initiatives are diverse and include research into Covid-19 immunity.

UKRI and the National Institute for Health Research have announced a joint £8.4 million investment towards three studies, which investigate major unanswered questions related to Covid-19 immunity.

Led by the University of Birmingham, the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium will receive £6.5 million to investigate key questions, such as how long Covid-19 immunity lasts, why some people’s immune systems are better able to fight off the virus, and why some immune responses cause damage.

The Humoral Immune Correlates of Covid-19 consortium, led by the University of Cambridge and Royal Papworth Hospital, will receive £1.5 million to study molecules produced by the immune system to fight infection.

A third study, led by the University of Edinburgh, will receive £394,000 to investigate key features of fatal Covid-19 and the impact the virus has on the lungs and other vital organs.

The current overall UKRI portfolio of Covid-19-related grants, including awards supported by Innovate UK, involves vaccine projects that provide greater diversity of approaches than for the first generation of vaccines developed. More details can be found on the UKRI website.