Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In the SCOPE study, we monitored SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in a national sample of residents and staff from Belgian nursing homes. Here, we report the seroprevalence among infected and infection-naive residents and staff after the primary COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Among 1554 vaccinated nursing home residents and 1082 vaccinated staff from 69 nursing homes in Belgium, we assessed the proportion having SARS-CoV-2 antibodies approximately two (April 2021), four (June 2021), and six months (August 2021) after a two-dose regimen of the BNT162b2 vaccine. We measured the seroprevalence using SARS-CoV-2 antibody rapid tests and collected socio-demographic and COVID-19 medical data using an online questionnaire. Two months after vaccination (baseline), we found a seroprevalence of 91% (95% CI: 89-93) among vaccinated residents and 99% (95% CI: 98-99) among vaccinated staff. Six months after vaccination, the seroprevalence significantly decreased to 68% (95% CI: 64-72) among residents and to 89% (95% CI; 86-91) among staff (p < 0.001). The seroprevalence was more likely to decrease among infection-naive residents, older residents, or residents with a high care dependency level. These findings emphasize the need for close monitoring of nursing home residents, as a substantial part of this population fails to mount a persistent antibody response after BNT162b2 vaccination.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





Department of Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.


Humans, Antibodies, Viral, Vaccination, Prevalence, Prospective Studies, Seroepidemiologic Studies, Nursing Homes, Immunization Programs, Belgium, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 Vaccines, BNT162 Vaccine