Wales Covid-19 Evidence Centre Review 2021-2023

The Wales COVID-19 Evidence Centre (WCEC), funded by Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales, has published its final “legacy” report showcasing two years of work which helped ministers make vital health and social care decisions during the pandemic.

The report addressed issues which were important to the public, playing a crucial role in ensuring COVID-19 research, which informed how the pandemic was handled in Wales, was up-to-date and relevant to the population.

As part of the six Collaborating Partners working alongside the Wales COVID-19 Evidence Centre, the Population Data Science team at Swansea University worked to deliver outputs that have informed policy and practice decision making. By conducting world-leading research using the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank, Population Data Science was able to provide research highlighting the real world effectiveness of antivirals to treat COVID-19.

As underlined by WCEC, the development of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection was a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, there were considerable uncertainties as to whether the benefits of these treatments observed in a clinical trial are realised in the real world in highly vaccinated populations and where newer variants dominate those that resulted in infection amongst trial participants.

The Population Data Science Team used the SAIL Databank to explore this: Real-world effectiveness of molnupiravir, nirmatrelvir-ritonavir, and sotrovimab on preventing hospital admission among higher-risk patients with COVID-19 in Wales: A retrospective cohort study.

They found that in higher-risk adult patients in the community with COVID-19, those who received treatment with molnupiravir, nirmatrelvir-ritonavir, or sotrovimab were at lower risk of hospitalisation or death than those not receiving treatment.

Read the full report here:

Alongside this, WCEC set up Primary Research Work Programme in summer 2022 to address information gaps highlighted through our Evidence Synthesis work programme, and other key priorities identified by COVID-19 researchers in Wales. Through research funded by WCEC, Population Data Science set out three short-term research projects using SAIL Databank. These included:

Read the WCEC “Legacy” Report in full here: