Gov launches antibody surveillance programme

The UK Health Security Agency is to launch a UK-wide antibody surveillance programme for the general public this week.

Home antibody tests will be available for up to 8,000 people a day across the UK who opt in to the service through NHS Test and Trace.

Data will improve understanding of the protection provided by antibodies generated following COVID-19 infection and vaccination.

For the first time, the programme will offer antibody testing to adults in the UK who test positive.
From Tuesday, anyone aged over 18 will be able to opt in to take part when booking a PCR test through NHS Test and Trace.

Those who opt in and then receive a positive PCR result will be sent two finger prick antibody tests to complete at home and send back to a lab for analysis.

The UK Health Security Agency will work alongside NHS Test and Trace testing services in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to monitor levels of antibodies in positive cases across the UK.

The data collected will help estimate the proportion of those who got COVID-19 despite developing antibodies as a result of having a vaccine or previously catching coronavirus.

The initiative could also provide insight into any groups of people who do not develop an immune response.

“Our new national antibody testing will be quick and easy to take part in, and by doing so you’ll be helping strengthen our understanding of COVID-19 as we cautiously return to a more normal life,” said secretary of state for health and social care, Sajid Javid. “I’m proud to see all parts of the UK uniting around this new initiative and working together to arm ourselves with even more valuable insights into how COVID-19 vaccines are protecting people up and down the UK.”

    Share Story:

Recent Stories