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June 25, 2020

Antibody tests not ready for UK rollout, warn health experts

By Chloe Kent

Health experts have warned that Covid-19 antibody tests need better assessment before being rolled out by the UK government.

In a letter published in the British Medical Journal, 14 professors and scientists have cautioned that the tests aren’t accurate enough to show whether or not people have been exposed to the virus, nor can they tell whether or not this equals immunity. They also highlighted how the resource implications of the NHS goal to test thousands of samples a day has not been considered.

“We support the rapid provision of diagnostic tests for individual and public health and recognise the need to deliver at pace,” the letter said. “It is essential, however, that quality systems, which have evolved over many years and are the foundation for delivering the right result of the right test to the right person at the right time, are not circumvented.”

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