Superdrug is now offering coronavirus antibody blood tests via its Online Doctor service.
The high street retailer is introducing the test as part of its efforts to support the public through the pandemic, and said it is confident of the test’s accuracy and reliability.
What does the test involve?
The blood test looks for antibodies to coronavirus and if it detects the IgG - the protein that develops after infection - this means the person has had the virus at some point.
A blood sampling kit will be sent in the post, in which there will be detailed instructions about how to carry it out with a simple finger prick using a lancet. A few drops of blood need to be collected into a small vial, secured in the packaging, and posted to the UKAS-accredited lab using the prepaid return packaging.
The results will then be available from Superdrug Online Doctor within 24 hours of the sample reaching the lab.
Michael Henry, Superdrug’s Healthcare Director, said, “We’re launching a Covid-19 antibody test because we’re confident of its accuracy and reliability.
“The Public Health England approved test is an accessible way for people to know whether they have already been infected with COVID-19.
“The test will only be available online via our online doctor service and will not be available in our stores.”
Who can take the test?
Anyone who is over the age of 18 can take the test.
If you have recently developed symptoms that might be attributable to coronavirus, you should wait until at least 14 days after the start of those symptoms to test for antibodies, as it can take that long to develop them.
If you haven’t had any symptoms recently, or never had them, you can take the test at any time.
Is the test accurate?
The test has a sensitivity of 97.5 per cent, meaning it will detect positive antibodies almost 100 per cent of the time.
However, a small number of previous infections might go undetected.
This could be due to there not being enough of an immune response developed by the individual, or the test not being able to detect the antibodies. These people will be informed that they don’t have antibodies, but can test again at another time if they wish.
The test has a specificity of 100 per cent, meaning if you get a positive result, you can be sure the result is specific to coronavirus, and there is no cross-reactivity between other viral antibodies, such as flu.
How can I get one?
The Superdrug Covid-19 Antibody Blood Test is priced at £69 each and is available to buy through its Online Doctor service.