The Department of Health today published a report on antibody and vaccination data from the COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS).
The findings set out in this report relate to antibody estimates for Northern Ireland for the week beginning 20 December 2021 and vaccination estimates for the week beginning 13 December 2021.
This report is part of the series of Northern Ireland publications from the COVID-19 Infection Survey. Further information can be found on the Department of Health website.
Due to the relatively small number of people who tested positive for antibodies within our sample, credible intervals are wide and therefore results should be interpreted with caution.
- In Northern Ireland, it is estimated that 97.4% of the adult population (95% credible interval: 96.0% to 98.2%) would have tested positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 on a blood test in the week beginning 20 December 2021, suggesting they had the infection in the past or have been vaccinated.
- In the week beginning 20 December 2021, the percentage of adults testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) antibodies remained high among all age groups in Northern Ireland. The percentage of adults aged 16 to 69 testing positive for antibodies ranged from 95.9% to 98.4%; for those 70 years and over it was 98.9% (95% credible interval: 97.5% to 99.6%).
- For the first time, based on academic research we present the percentage of adults with antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 at or above a higher antibody threshold, which provides greater protection against COVID-19 following vaccination. Academic research on antibody thresholds using data from when the Delta variant was the dominant strain indicate that a higher threshold of antibodies is needed to provide protection from new COVID-19 infections for those who are vaccinated. It is estimated that 90% of the NI population had antibodies at or above the higher threshold with the booster programme likely leading to the rapid increases in antibodies above this threshold seen in older age groups.
- The survey provides an estimate of the percentage of people that have been vaccinated however it should be noted that the figures are based on self-report and may differ from official figures which are a more precise count of total vaccines issued.
- The survey estimates allow for additional analysis of vaccination information with other characteristics, such as testing positive for antibodies.
- The survey shows the estimated percentage of adults who reported they have received three or more COVID-19 vaccinations has increased rapidly since September 2021, in line with the vaccine programmes.
Notes to editors:
- The Department of Health has been working along with the Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency and the Office for National Statistics (and its various survey partners) to extend the COVID-19 Infection Survey to Northern Ireland. Fieldwork in Northern Ireland began on 27 July 2020.
- All results are provisional and subject to revision. Due to the relatively small number of people who tested positive for antibodies within our sample, credible intervals are wide and therefore results should be interpreted with caution.
- These statistics refer to the presence of antibodies to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and vaccinations within the community population, by which we mean private residential households. These figures exclude those in hospitals, care homes and/or other institutional settings.
- This report is part of the series of Northern Ireland publications from the COVID-19 Infection Survey. Positivity estimates are published on a weekly basis and antibody/vaccination data fortnightly. Further information can be found on the Department of Health website.
- Further information about quality and methodology associated with the survey can be found on the ONS website.https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/methodologies/covid19infectionsurveypilotmethodsandfurtherinformation#covid-19-infection-survey
- This publication is available online
- Additional information is available from:
Information Analysis Directorate
Department of Health
Annex 2, Castle Buildings
Belfast BT4 3SQ
Telephone: 028 9052 2340
- For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email email@example.com.
- Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt
- The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
- Coronavirus (Covid-19) Infection Survey, Northern Ireland: Weekly Report 02 December 2022
- DoH Statement 02 December 2022
- Coronavirus (Covid-19) Infection Survey – Antibody Data For Northern Ireland 01 December 2022
- Patients benefit from investment in Armoy Medical Centre 30 November 2022