Guidance overview: COVID-19 surveillance and immunity studies

An overview of national surveillance programmes to understand how COVID-19 is present and affecting the wider population.



This guidance is an overview of current population surveillance studies in the UK and is for healthcare professionals, academics, industry and the general public.

These robust population surveillance programmes form pillar 4 of the UK’s testing strategy and are essential to understanding the rate of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection and its spread across the country.

The Department for Health and Social Care, Public Health England, the Office for National Statistics, and research, academic and scientific partners support the studies, which help assess the impact of measures taken so far to contain the virus, to inform current and future actions, and to develop new tests and treatments.

Published 13 October 2020
Last updated 16 September 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added link to research findings: round 6.

  2. Added a link to Lay summaries on the Vivaldi 2 study on the University College London website.

  3. Added link to Schools Infection Survey research findings: round 5.

  4. Added a link to 'SIREN study - one year on' YouTube video.

  5. Updated descriptions for React studies, Vivaldi studies and the Schools Infection Survey to represent their current scope.

  6. Added link to 'COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey: round 2'.

  7. Updated to add a link to the Vivaldi 2 study research findings.

  8. Updated to include FAQs for the Vivaldi study, Schools Infection Survey and the UK Biobank SARS-CoV-2 serology study.

  9. Updated to add further reports and documentation on the studies.

  10. Information updated to reflect further research findings, additional studies and improvement in scope of existing studies.

  11. Links added to the document: press releases to REACT-1 and related content links at the end of the document.

  12. First published.