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Covid-19 antibody tests do not prove immunity

by Sandra Issar

Residents are reminded there is no evidence that Covid-19 antibody testing provides any proof of long-term immunity to the virus.

The reminder comes as a number of schools and other organisations have been targeted by private companies offering antibody tests for as much as £30 per person.

Extensive antibody testing for NHS and Health & Social Care workers and some patients, is being carried out across Cheshire and Merseyside.

However, this is primarily for research and surveillance purposes at this stage – as there is currently no clinical benefit to knowing whether you have antibodies.

As well as not proving any type of immunity, the tests being offered by private providers are not fully validated and so the accuracy of the test is unknown.

Cllr Sean Donnelly, Knowsley Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:

The message for residents, business and other organisations is that there is currently no clinical benefit to having an antibody test.

 

“We would not encourage anyone to seek out, or agree to, a private test as it is not certain to provide a reliable result and will not give you any indication as to any sort of immunity.

 

“The only validated way to have an antibody test is to go through an NHS service, which is currently prioritising some patients and NHS and key workers in health & social care. However, this still only shows whether you have had the virus, not if you are immune.

 

“The best advice is to only have an antibody test if you are asked to do so by your employer, GP or when in an NHS setting like a hospital. If you are asked to be tested, please ensure that is through official NHS Test and Trace channels.”

The latest information about the antibody tests is available here.