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England has experienced a large outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, disproportionately affecting people from disadvantaged and ethnic minority communities. It is unclear how much of this excess is due to differences in exposure associated with structural inequalities. Here, we report from the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-2 (REACT-2) national study of over 100,000 people. After adjusting for test characteristics and re-weighting to the population, overall antibody prevalence is 6.0% (95% CI: 5.8-6.1). An estimated 3.4 million people had developed antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 by mid-July 2020. Prevalence is two- to three-fold higher among health and care workers compared with non-essential workers, and in people of Black or South Asian than white ethnicity, while age- and sex-specific infection fatality ratios are similar across ethnicities. Our results indicate that higher hospitalisation and mortality from COVID-19 in minority ethnic groups may reflect higher rates of infection rather than differential experience of disease or care.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/s41467-021-21237-w

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Commun

Publication Date

10/02/2021

Volume

12

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Antibodies, Viral, COVID-19, England, Ethnic Groups, Female, Health Personnel, Hospitalization, Humans, Immunoglobulin G, Male, Middle Aged, Minority Groups, Mortality, Prevalence, Risk, SARS-CoV-2, Young Adult