Design and Implementation of a National SARS-CoV-2 Monitoring Program in England: REACT-1 Study

Paul Elliott*, Matthew Whitaker, David Tang, Oliver Eales, Nicholas Steyn, Barbara Bodinier, Haowei Wang, Joshua Elliott, Christina Atchison, Deborah Ashby, Wendy Barclay, Graham Taylor, Ara Darzi, Graham S. Cooke, Helen Ward, Christl A. Donnelly, Steven Riley, Marc Chadeau-Hyam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Data System. The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) Study was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care in England to provide reliable and timely estimates of prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection over time, by person and place. Data Collection/Processing. The study team (researchers from Imperial College London and its logistics partner Ipsos) wrote to named individuals aged 5 years and older in random cross-sections of the population of England, using the National Health Service list of patients registered with a general practitioner (near-universal coverage) as a sampling frame. We collected data over 2 to 3 weeks approximately every month across 19 rounds of data collection from May 1, 2020, to March 31, 2022. Data Analysis/Dissemination. We have disseminated the data and study materials widely via the study Web site, preprints, publications in peer-reviewed journals, and the media. We make available data tabulations, suitably anonymized to protect participant confidentiality, on request to the study’s data access committee. Public Health Implications. The study provided inter alia real-time data on SARS-CoV-2 prevalence over time, by area, and by sociodemographic variables; estimates of vaccine effectiveness; and symptom profiles, and detected emergence of new variants based on viral genome sequencing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-554
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

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