1. Your appointment

A nurse or study health worker will visit your home. If you have been asked for a blood sample, it will be a nurse. The nurse and study health worker will use all the recommended precautions to protect you and other people in your home from getting the virus. The nurse or study health worker will then ask everyone who wants to join the study some questions about any symptoms they may have and about any contact with someone who had the coronavirus (COVID-19). They will also ask about gender, ethnicity, date of birth and occupation.

The nurse or study health worker will show you how to take a swab from your nose and throat. This is straightforward and is being done in the drive-through testing centres. Anyone aged 12 years or over can take the swab themselves.

The reason for asking people to swab themselves is to protect nurses or study health workers in case people have COVID-19 and do not know it.

If a parent or carer and child aged 2 to 11 years have consented to take part in the study, a nurse or study health worker will ask the parent or carer to take their own swab before taking the nose and throat swab from the child. The swabs are the same size as used normally for children.

If you are aged 16 years or over, you may also be asked to take part in an optional part of the study. This will involve giving a five millilitre blood sample (about a teaspoonful), which will be taken by a nurse trained to take blood from your vein; this is no different to when you have a blood test at your local GP. When you book your appointment, someone from IQVIA will talk to you about this, but not all households will be invited to take part in this part of the study. You can always change your mind after booking the appointment, including on the day. Children and teenagers aged from 2 to 15 years will only have the nose and throat swabs.

This visit will take 15 to 30 minutes. The nurse or study health worker will need to come into your home in order to take blood. They will bring all necessary equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) to come into your home for the visit. Please note that they will wear a face covering, but an extra visor is not required.

When blood is taken, there is a possibility of bruising and/or fainting; the nurses or study healthcare workers who will do this are trained to take blood to reduce this risk.

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2. How to make an appointment if you have a hearing impairment

If you have a hearing impairment and are unable to use the telephone, you can contact IQVIA by email at iqvia.covid19survey@nhs.net to make an appointment. You will need to provide your reference number in your email; you will find this in the top right-hand corner of your letter. Your reference number starts with the letters "COV". An adviser will then contact you to book you in for an appointment for a nurse or study health worker to visit your home to complete the study.

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3. What to expect when the nurse or study health worker arrives at your home

When the study health worker visits your home, they will first check that you still want to join the study and also ask if any other adults (aged 16 years or over) would like to join as well. We will ask anyone aged 16 years or over who wants to join to sign a consent form.

If an older child or teenager aged 10 to 15 years in your household wants to join the study, we will ask both them and their parent or carer to sign to say they are happy to be in the study. For younger children aged two to nine years, we will just ask their parent or carer to sign, but it is important that the child is also happy about this.

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4. Preparing for your appointment

Once you have made your appointment over the phone, there is nothing else for you to do. The nurse or study health worker will bring all necessary equipment with them to your home for the appointment. However, should anyone in your home develop coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms before the nurse or study health worker visits, please contact IQVIA.

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5. How long your appointment will take

The first appointment will take around 15 to 30 minutes per person.

If you continue to take part in the study, the appointment will take around 15 minutes per person.

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6. Follow-up visits

You will also be asked whether you would be interested in repeating this visit. This is to see how exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19) changes over time. You do not have to agree to continue to take part in the study. You could agree to:

A: no further visits

B: further visits every week for one month (five visits in total)

C: further visits every week for one month, and then every month throughout the year after your first study visit (16 visits in total)

If you agreed to give blood the first time, we would like to take blood again every month, but not at weeks one, two or three.

Follow-up visits will take around 15 minutes.

The survey is based on a representative sample of addresses and so if you move house, your participation in the survey will finish.

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7. Testing your nurse or study health worker for coronavirus (COVID-19)

All nurses and study health workers are offered routine tests for the coronavirus (COVID-19) before visiting your home. However, it is important to know that people can become infected even after a negative test. All nurses and study health workers will therefore follow the NHS recommendations about the appropriate level of personal protective equipment (PPE) to use.

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