Coronavirus antibody exams shall be out there on the NHS following an settlement between the federal government and pharmaceutical agency Roche.
Well being Secretary Matt Hancock is because of set out additional particulars later on the Downing Avenue briefing a few deal on the availability of the exams – which present if somebody has had COVID-19 and developed immunity.
The prime minister’s official spokesman instructed reporters: “The exams shall be free for individuals who want them, as you’ll anticipate.
“NHS and care employees shall be prioritised for the exams.”
It comes as 338 extra individuals died with the virus, in line with the UK authorities, taking the full to 36,042.
Throughout the 4 nations:
- 187 have been reported by NHS England
- 37 have been introduced in Scotland by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
- 9 have been confirmed by Public Well being Wales
- Seven have been declared by the Northern Irish well being division
The discrepancy between the full UK determine and the person residence nations is because of every authority calculating their deaths in several methods and at totally different occasions.
The coronavirus antibody blood exams, made by Swiss pharmaceutical agency Roche, have been given approval by Public Well being England on 14 Might after scientists at its Porton Down facility discovered the check was “extremely particular” and had an accuracy of 100%.
England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, final week promised the exams could be rolled out “quickly”.
He cautioned it may take as much as 28 days after somebody is contaminated earlier than the check can correctly affirm if an individual did have the virus.
It should “take time” to observe how a lot individuals with antibodies have immunity from the virus and the way lengthy it may final for, he defined.
The exams have been heralded by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as being a “game-changer” for lifting lockdown as a result of somebody who finds out they’ve antibodies could be “protected and assured within the data that you’re very unlikely to get it once more”.
However John Edmunds, professor of infectious illness modelling on the London College of Hygiene and Tropical Drugs, has warned research of different coronaviruses counsel “doubtlessly unhealthy information” for hopes people may develop a long-term immunity.
He instructed a parliamentary committee on Tuesday: “We will additionally see from different coronaviruses, from ones that trigger coughs and colds, that people once more do appear to not have notably long-term immunity to a lot of these viruses, permitting them to get reinfected later…
“Immunity might not final that lengthy in opposition to this virus.”
A report ready by the federal government’s prime scientific advisers additionally warned if antibody exams come into widespread use some employers would possibly begin discriminating in opposition to those that have not had the virus.
“This would possibly embody not allowing these testing antibody destructive to return to work, or solely taking up new workers with antibody optimistic check outcomes,” their paper compiled in mid-April cautioned.