At least 2,500 people recruited to test home Covid-19 antibody kits

At least 2,500 volunteers are being recruited to test the reliability of Covid-19 home-based antibody testing kits, the Government has said.

The Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England (PHE) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are recruiting people from the NHS and other key workers to test a finger-prick blood test.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “We are working with Public Health England and the MHRA to recruit volunteers from the NHS and wider public service for a study exploring the potential of home-based antibody tests.

“No reliable home test has yet been found, and we do not know whether antibodies indicate immunity from reinfection or transmission.

“This research is part of our ongoing surveillance work to increase our understanding of how to tackle this virus.”

Volunteers will be recruited who have tested positive for the virus previously, alongside those who have tested negative.

The Government said it was “essential that we understand exactly how effective these home kits are when used by the public, and how easy they are to use”.

A number of the rapid response kits are to be studied.

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