Re-start of school monitoring study

Michael Wagner

On March 1st 2021, the nationwide SARS-CoV-2 school monitoring study was re-started. During the next three weeks selected pupils and teachers from 250 Austrian schools, representing about 6% of all schools in the country, will again provide gargle samples for RT-qPCR analyses. In collaboration with Andreas Bergthaler from the Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences all positive samples will be sequenced to determine the whole virus genomes for variant screening. Furthermore, the results of this study round will enable us to evaluate the sensitivity and protective impact of the antigen self-tests that are currently performed by all pupils. The re-start of the study received a lot of media attention. In addition Michael Wagner, the scientific coordinator of the study, was interviewed by many print media and TV channels regarding his opinion on the state of the pandemic.