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The Open University

COVID-19: Immunology, vaccines and epidemiology

The Open University via OpenLearn


This free badged course, COVID-19: Immunology, vaccines and epidemiology, explains how antibodies protect against viral infections and how the incidence of antibodies can be used to track an epidemic. The course incorporates an interactive on-line assay (ELISA) of the type that is used to detect antibodies against COVID-19 infection. The samples in the assay correspond to serum-samples from the UK population in August 2021, when a minority of population had been infected with COVID-19 and 70% vaccinated. Antibody detection (serology) can distinguish people who have been vaccinated from those previously infected. The course also outlines the different biological strategies that were deployed in developing vaccines against COVID-19. This course forms part of the Dangoor Education course collection, the educational arm of The Exilarch's Foundation. This course is accredited by the CPD Standards Office. It can be used to provide evidence of continuing professional development and on successful completion of the course you will be awarded 24 CPD points. Evidence of your CPD achievement is provided on the free Statement of Participation awarded on completion.Anyone wishing to provide evidence of their enrolment on this course is able to do so by sharing their Activity Record on their OpenLearn Profile, which is available before completion of the course and earning of the Statement of Participation. The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey. Once you complete the course we would also value your feedback and suggestions for future improvement, in our optional end-of-course survey. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.


  • Week 1: How the body recognises a viral infection
  • Week 2: How the immune system combats viral infection
  • Week 3: ELISA – enzyme linked immunosorbent assay
  • Week 4: Screening for SARS-CoV2 antibodies
  • Week 5: Tracking infection
  • Week 6: Epidemiology
  • Week 7: Vaccines
  • Week 8: Variants and immunity


4.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.1 rating at OpenLearn based on 9 ratings

Start your review of COVID-19: Immunology, vaccines and epidemiology

  • Aysha Asifbeg Mirza
    This course provides a comprehensive understanding of COVID-19, covering crucial topics like immunology, vaccines, and epidemiology. It offers a valuable resource for anyone seeking to deepen their knowledge of the pandemic and its impact on global health. The content is well-structured and accessible, making it suitable for learners with varying levels of expertise. Overall, a commendable resource for those interested in understanding the science behind COVID-19.
  • Profile image for Ragul K
    Ragul K

    The COVID-19 course covers immunology, vaccines, and epidemiology. Topics include immune response to SARS-CoV-2, vaccine types and development processes, disease transmission dynamics, and public health interventions. Through lectures, discussions, and assessments, students gain insight into pandemic control strategies and the scientific basis for COVID-19 management.

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