Who Can Get An Antibody Test For Covid-19 And How Can I Get One?

9 June 2020, 15:54

Antibody tests for Covid-19 will hopefully be rolled out across the UK soon
Antibody tests for Covid-19 will hopefully be rolled out across the UK soon. Picture: Getty / PA

Covid-19 antibody tests are available, but are in limited supply at the moment.

As the UK peak of coronavirus infections begins to fall, many are wondering whether they were infected at some point over the last few months by Covid-19 and want to take an antibody test for peace of mind, despite it remaining unconfirmed how long immunity to coronavirus lasts.

Antibody tests for coronavirus have been developed and the government are hoping to roll them out for public use as soon as possible, but in the meantime only essential workers are able to be tested.

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A number of websites began offering at-home antibody testing kits, with high street store Superdrug even making them available, however these were quickly suspended from being sold following warnings from Public Health England over the tests’ reliability.

While anyone is now able to register to take an antigen test, which is to find out if you currently have the virus, there are limits on who can take an antibody test at the moment.

Here’s what you need to know about coronavirus antibody testing, including who can take the test and how to get one…

Who can get a coronavirus antibody test?

From the end of May, NHS and care staff in England began to be provided with antibody tests.

The NHS website clinicians are also able to request tests for patients both in hospital and social care settings if they think it’s appropriate.

How can I get a coronavirus antibody test?

A lot of private health clinics are offering a high price for coronavirus antibody tests
A lot of private health clinics are offering a high price for coronavirus antibody tests. Picture: PA

A lot of private healthcare practices are now offering antibody testing for a price varying between £60 and £130, but if you’re considering these as an option it’s best to find out whether the tests have been approved by Public Health England and if they’ve been given the CE mark, which shows how it complies with EU safety rules.

A lot of home testing kits began surfacing online in May, claiming to show whether a person has had the virus after submitting a blood sample they’ve drawn themselves with a finger prick.

On 27 May, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency called for a temporary halt to the tests after questioning their reliability.

Therefore, it’s advised to be wary of kits still available online.

Medical professionals are advising people wait for the antibody tests to be rolled out for the public, as it’s best the blood samples are carried out in the same way a usual blood test would be, by a nurse or doctor.

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