Why You Should Get a Covid-19 Antibody Test
Well, another week in lockdown has passed since my last article. With the growing pressure across the UK to gradually reduce lockdown measures, furlough being extended, and another few possible months of uncertainty, people are looking to see how they can get back to as normal a life as possible.
It is unanimously agreed throughout the world that in order to beat Covid -19 and wave goodbye to social distancing we must do two things. Ensure the public are thoroughly tested, that way we can effectively treat the disease as well as further develop our vaccines, and invest in research of the disease, so we can understand its transmission and how to prevent it. Whilst a lot of people are off on furlough or still working to keep the nation running smoothly, the self employed of this country are the ones who are at a great disadvantage just now as having to take time off work can be detrimental to their income.
One of the ways people are able to see if they have had the virus is through an antibody test. Identifying antibodies will help inform contact tracing; determine the effectiveness of vaccines; and clarify who may be susceptible to re-infection, at what point, and why.
What is an Antibody?
Antibodies are proteins that are found in the blood; antibodies are a key component in our immune system. They ‘mark’ any unwanted cells that have infiltrated the body to let other immune cells know that something ‘isn’t right’. The now marked cells act as a beacon and send out signals to other immune cells to draw them in to kill and terminate the infected cell and thus stopping the infection from causing any further harm.
A Covid-19 antibody test would not mean that you actively have Covid cells in your body at present, it would mean that you formerly had the infected cells in your body and the body has now produced an immune response to destroy the cells. With the destruction of the infected cells, your body harbours a tiny piece of the foreign material as a fail safe to protect you from recurrent infection – these are antibodies.
What Does The Test Involve?
The test itself is an antibody test for Covid-19. Provide a blood sample using the lancet and sample bottle provided and return it to our partner lab via your prepaid envelope. With much speculation going on in the media at the moment surrounding these tests, rest assured our partner lab is regulated by Public Health England. Within 2 to 3 working days after the lab receives your sample, you will receive a text message containing your result, it really is that simple!
Currently there are two main players who are manufacturing the antibody test kits. The test available at Cloud Pharmacy is made by Abbott, a very well-respected pharmaceutical company known all over the world. Some of their other projects include groundbreaking testing kits for diabetic patients.
The IgG Covid-19 antibody test is one that has been accepted for use in Europe and other parts of the world as it has a CE stamp and FDA approval. By placing the CE marking on a product a manufacturer is declaring, on his sole responsibility, conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve CE marking. The manufacturer is thus ensuring validity for that product to be sold throughout the EEA. It is worth pointing out that whilst you are getting this test sent to your home, it isn’t a home testing kit. You need to send off the sample to our laboratory in order for it to get tested – unlike the tests you had seen on the news a month or so ago, which are unreliable.
Should Everyone Get an Covid-19 Antibody Test?
Whilst the test is made available to anyone in the public, we feel that it is best utilised for those mentioned earlier in the article. If you have tested positive for antibodies that means you have been exposed to Covid-19 at one point or another and your body has now, in theory, built up an immune response to the disease. If we are made aware of who has had the virus and recovered, we will know who is now immune to the virus and who can go back to work.
Other people who have bought the test felt that they wanted to know for their own peace of mind if they had, had the disease previously, as it can help calm their nerves with the scary world in which we live in today.
Unlike other clinics offering test kits, at Cloud Pharmacy, we value our patients over our profits. Which is why we have reduced the price of our Covid-19 antibody test to a much lower price to that of our competitors and we are one of the few suppliers that have fully certified EU testing kits.
Author: Matthew Jennings