Dialy US Times: For the first time, antibody tests are to be widely offered to the UK public in a new programme that aims to find out more about how much natural protection people have after getting Covid-19.
The scheme will offer tests to thousands of adults in the country each day.
Anyone over 18 years of age will be able to opt in when having a PCR test from Tuesday – of those who test positive for Covid-19, up to 8,000 will be sent two home antibody tests.
Sajid Javid, British Health Secretary, said it would be quick and easy to take part.
The first of the finger-prick tests would have to be done as soon as possible after the positive Covid, so the body wouldn’t have time to generate a detectable antibody response to the infection.
The second test would be taken 28 days later and measure antibodies generated in response to the infection.
The government scheme will be run by the UK Health Security Agency and will work alongside NHS test and trace services in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to use results to monitor levels of antibodies in positive cases.
Its chief executive Dr Jenny Harries said the programme would help Britain gain “vital insight” into the impact of the vaccination programme and immune responses to different variants.
The British Health Secretary said it would build on the “massive wall of defence” that was the vaccination programme and getting involved would help “strengthen our understanding of Covid-19 as we cautiously return to a more normal life”.
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