Researchers from Edge Hill University have been awarded a contract to evaluate the effectiveness of Cheshire and Merseyside’s Covid-19 contact and vaccine tracing scheme during the pandemic.
The project will be overseen by Dr Axel Kaehne, Reader in Health and Social Care and Director of Edge Hill’s Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EPA) unit. Dr Kaehne and a team of researchers will find out how successful the contact tracing initiative was in finding people who had come into contact with Covid-19 and whether being notified about the contact convinced them to stay at home.
Dr Kaehne said: “We are proud to have been awarded this important contract to carry out research that is of national, and potentially international, importance. It will be fascinating to find out how successful contract and vaccine tracing really was during the height of the pandemic and our findings will help the Government to understand what worked and what didn’t work from this key policy.”
The funder of the programme, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), are keen to find out which support measures were most successful in encouraging self-isolation and vaccine uptake. The researchers will look at the programme across both Cheshire and Merseyside, which covers nine local authority areas.
Dr Kaehne explained: “There are several core components of the programme. A team led by me will investigate the effectiveness of vaccine tracing calls in the uptake of vaccination, an essential part of the UK’s efforts to defeat Covid-19. The wider team, led by Ipsos MORI, will focus on the success of the contract tracing itself, whether those people stayed at home and which of the self-isolation support measures were most effective in getting people to isolate at home.”
“In the UK and abroad, self-isolation and vaccine uptake played a huge part in reducing transmission of Covid-19. It is absolutely vital that we find out the best ways to encourage both of these measures to guard against emerging variants or other disease outbreaks in the future.”
The team is expecting to publish results in September 2022. They will collaborate with Prof Evan Kontopantelis from the Institute of Health Policy and Organisation at the University of Manchester.
The Evaluation and Policy Analysis Research Unit at Edge Hill is an interdisciplinary team of specialists from across the University undertaking programme evaluations as well as policy-focussed analysis and research.
If you would like to study in the field of health, find out more about the courses offered by Edge Hill University’s Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine on the website.