Blood samples will be tested for antibodies, other immune cells, and specific genes associated with immune responses. These tests will show if participants have developed immunity to the flu virus or vaccine.
When do I have the blood test done?
Participants will be contacted by our study team to arrange collection of your blood samples when required.
Blood samples can be collected at Awanui Labs or by our team of phlebotomists. The WellKiwis phlebotomist team usually operate Monday - Friday, between the hours of 8am to 4:30pm.
Blood collection schedule:
Baseline blood (one-off collection): for WellKiwis infants, this sample is collected from the umbilical cord after you give birth. For WellKiwis participating in the household study, this sample is collected upon enrolement.
Post-vaccine blood: if you choose to have the flu vaccine, a blood sample will be collected 3 - 5 weeks after your vaccination.
Acute flu blood: if your swab resturns a POSITIVE result for influenza, a blood sample will be collected 0 - 2 weeks after the positive swab result.
Convalescent flu blood: if you test positive for influenza, a blood sample will be collected 3 - 6 weeks after your positive swab result.
Annual blood: collected outside of the flu season (usually Nov-March).
Where does the blood go after the sample has been taken?
The blood will go to the National Influenza Centre (NIC) at ESR in Upper Hutt for sample processing. Then these samples will be sent to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRS) Memphis, USA). This is the main testing centre for samples from all three study country sites. Some samples may be sent to other collaborators at Universities and Medical Schools such as Mt Sinai, Chicago, Washington, Emory, Rochester and Stanford for some specific immunology testing that cannot be done at SJCRS.
How do I know my test results?
Study results for blood samples are reported collectively for the study and not on an individual basis. Findings will be made anonymous and will be available on the WellKiwis website and published in medical journals. Because the blood test results are not going to be available for quite some time and are not for clinical purposes, these will not be provided to your GP.
Can anything go wrong?
The risk from blood collection is usually minor, such as redness or bruising around the site where the blood is taken. The procedure may also cause infection and some discomfort.
Please see our FAQs for more information
WellKiwis Infant: FAQ
WellKiwis Household: FAQ
If you have any questions, please email Wellkiwis@esr.cri.nz or call 0800 493555 (08004WELLKIWI) during office hours (Mon to Fri, 8am to 4pm).
Outside of office hours, you can seek advice 24/7 from Healthline on 0800 611 116, Plunketline on 0800 933 922
or by contacting your general practice during opening hours