Jean Opsomer, Ph.D., a Westat Vice President and senior statistician, presented at the 11th International Francophone Conference on Surveys, held October 6-8, 2021, on the latest research in estimating SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the population. The conference was hosted by the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
Dr. Opsomer’s presentation was titled: Tracking the Spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the USA Using Blood Donation Samples. Westat coauthors included Irene Molina Manrique, Wendy Van de Kerckhove, Natalia Weil, and Erin Wiley.
The data for the presentation come from the Multistate Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 in Blood Donors (MASS-BD). This study is the largest nationwide COVID-19 seroprevalence survey to date. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is collaborating on this project with Vitalant Research Institute, Westat, and numerous blood collection organizations across the U.S.
Researchers use monthly samples of approximately 150,000 blood donations to track the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among the U.S. general population. Dr. Opsomer’s presentation featured the survey statistics methods used to extrapolate from the blood donation samples to the general population in order to estimate seroprevalence.
This international scientific meeting is organized under the aegis of the French Statistical Society. It brings together researchers and practitioners from the public and private sector who carry out or use surveys.