COVID-19 Antibody Testing

In March 2021, study participants who had taken part in any of the three waves of the COVID-19 survey were asked to provide a finger-prick blood sample to be analysed for COVID-19 antibodies. Those who agreed were sent a blood sample collection kit and asked to post back the sample to a laboratory for analysis.

Two antibody tests were conducted which will help to distinguish between those who had COVID-19 antibodies due to exposure to the virus and those who had antibodies resulting from vaccination. At the point of signing up, participants were also asked to answer questions about vaccination.  This information is also included in the dataset. These COVID-19 antibody test data will help researchers to accurately estimate the prevalence of coronavirus among 10,000 people taking part in our four cohort studies.

Accessing the data

The COVID-19 antibody test data from the four CLS studies taking part (the Millennium Cohort Study, Next Steps, the 1970 British Cohort Study and the National Child Development Study) has been de-identified and is available for researchers to download under End User Licence from the UK Data Service. To download the data (SN: 8823), visit the UK Data Service website. The data are also available from each of the main pages for the four studies on the UK Data Service website: Millennium Cohort StudyNext Steps1970 British Cohort StudyNational Child Development Study. Data will show the results from both antibody tests.

COVID-19 antibody test data from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD) is available via the NSHD data sharing website.

If you are publishing research using our COVID-19 data, please make sure you cite the data and also let us know, so we can make sure we add your work to our online bibliography when published.

Response to COVID-19 antibody testing


Blood sample returned

Millennium Cohort Study (cohort members)


Millennium Cohort Study (parents)


Next Steps


1970 British Cohort Study


1958 National Child Development Study


Total 10,442

Further information about response to the survey and the derivation of response weights is available in the User Guide below.

For more information about handling missing data in longitudinal studies, see our Handling Missing Data page.



COVID-19 Antibody Testing User Guide

User guide for COVID-19 Antibody Testing in the National Child Development Study, 1970 British Cohort Study, Next Steps and Millennium Cohort Study.

Authors: Matt Brown, Andrew Peters, George B. Ploubidis, Aida Sanchez, Richard J. Silverwood
Date published: 23/07/21
PDF: 137,86 KB

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