Simply put its a test to see if you have the antibodies which indicate whether you have been infected with coronavirus in the past.
The test can help understand whether you have already had Covid-19, confirming your suspicions after you have had symptoms, or enabling you to discover you have the antibodies if you contracted the virus so mildly that you did not suffer at all.
At least 2 weeks after you have developed symptoms - as your immune system will only react to the infection by SARS-CoV-2 and create antibodies days after (and it can be up to 2 weeks) you have been affected. If you take the test too early it might not detect the antibodies..
Tests are available for anyone over the age of 12 who want to know whether they have had Coronavirus.
These tests are not 100% but do deliver high levels of accuracy.
The two measures determining their reliability are:
Specificity - this measure indicates the likelihood of a false positive, i.e. reporting that you have had Covid-19 when you have not.
Sensitivity - measures the chance of a false negative. This would mean you are advised that you have not had the virus when in fact you did.
If I test positive, am I protected from catching Covid-19 again?
Currently we do not know if having the antibodies provides protection, either fully or partially from being infected again, or indeed how long any immunity may last.
Therefore you should not behave any differently as a result of a positive result, and continue to take the same precautions as you would have done before taking the antibody test.
Tests can be arranged either through the NHS websites relevant for your country or can be sourced privately through a pharmacy or chemist.
A selection of pharmacies currently offering Covid-19 tests can be found below
|Company||Product||Test Laboratory||Registered Pharmacy||Sensitivity||Specificity||Price||More Info|
|Coronavirus - COVID-19 IgG Antibody Blood Test at Home Kit||The Doctors Laboratory||97.5%||100%||£69.98|
Oxford Online Home tests require a small blood sampled - they send you the blood sample kit & full instructions details here You post the sample to the Lab and then you will be notified of the results by email / phone call
|Coronavirus (COVID-19) antibody blood sampling kit||The Doctors Laboratory||97.5%||100%||£69.00|
|Covid-19 Coronavirus Home Swab Test||N/A||98%||100%||£78.00|
|Coronavirus Antibody Test Service||The Doctors Laboratory||97.5%||100%||£69.00|
Superdrug will send you a blood sample collection pack delivered to your home. Follow the instructions in the pack and send your sample to Superdrugs partner laboratory who will perform the test, and contact you, via a secure message, to advise your results.
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This content was last reviewed on 09/03/2022