The Australian First Few “X” (FFX) research study for COVID-19

May 5, 2022

What is the FFX study?

This study will help understand how emerging COVID-19 variants are transmitted within households.

The study will also provide information about:

  • changes in disease symptoms over time
  • impacts of different variants
  • Impacts of different vaccines
  • long-term effects on immunity against COVID-19

Who can participate?

We are looking for people of any age diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 7 days, or people who currently live in a household with at least one positive case diagnosed within the last 7 days. Any household with two or more people can participate.

Studying COVID-19 in households gives better information about COVID-19 disease than studying individuals alone.

How does the FFX study work and what do I have to do?

This study is based on a protocol from the World Health Organization and this important work is happening in similar studies around the world.

If you (and your household members) agree to participate, you will:

  • provide initial information about you, your household and your experience with COVID-19
  • complete a daily symptom diary for up to 28 days which will take 2–5 minutes each day
  • have at least one COVID-19 PCR swab test (to enable genomic study of the virus)
  • provide blood samples – two in the first 28 days, and then further samples up to a year after your infection (to enable study of your immune response)
  • be involved in 30–60 minutes of follow-up interviews in the initial period of the study

Participants in the study follow Australian Department of Health recommendations for testing and isolation during the study. You may be asked to undertake COVID-19 testing at multiple times.

Information from participating households will be compiled and presented to the Victorian Department of Health to support the ongoing COVID-19 response. Periodic reports will also be sent to participants.

I am interested. Who do I contact to find out more?

  • If your household includes any children (UNDER the age of 18), please contact the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) by phone – 9936 6655 or email –
  • If everyone in your household is an adult (OVER the age of 18), please visit this WEHI page for more information.

Who is funding this project?

The FFX study is supported by the Australian Government Department of Health and the National Health and Medical Research Council, through the APPRISE Centre of Research Excellence.

The University of Melbourne Ethics Reference number is: 2022-13875-24834-4

More information

FFX FAQ page

FFX project page

APPRISE News, Community Information