RESIDENTS at 17 Oxfordshire care homes will take part in a study into antibodies created by people who have recovered from Covid-19.

The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) is supporting the Vivaldi 2 research project, which will carry out tests on immune responses to the virus.

In total, 65 of the care provider's homes are involved, including residents and staff at all 17 in Oxfordshire.

The project, conducted by scientists at University College London (UCL), seeks to find out if we produce antibodies after suffering from the virus and whether that can help us build up immunity.

Read also: Breakthrough for Oxford University coronavirus vaccine

OSJCT Chief Executive Dan Hayes said: “It’s vitally important that we participate in these studies and support the search for a long-term solution to this unprecedented challenge.

“We're well known for the high standards of care that colleagues across OSJCT provide. Looking to the future and ensuring we can return to ‘normality’ is another key element of that.”

The study follows the first Vivaldi project, which sought to determine how many care home staff and residents have been infected.

Data collected during the summer is now being analysed, while Vivaldi 2 involves three blood samples.

Read also: The true total number of Oxford Covid cases

The initial sample, set to be taken next month, is followed by another after six weeks and a third at 12 weeks.

Participation is voluntary and those who return positive tests during the process will have further samples taken after six and 12 months.

Dr Maria Krutikov, Vivaldi clinical project manager a UCL, said: “Participation in the Vivaldi study will help us estimate how many people living and working in care homes have been infected with COVID-19 and learn more about immunity following infection.

“These insights will help Government and the NHS make decisions about vaccination and will also guide decisions around care home testing and the best approaches to protect staff and residents from future infections."