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August 23, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – UK to launch new antibody test programme for positive individuals – Israel introduces antibody tests for children

By Chloe Kent

The UK government is set to launch a nationwide antibody surveillance programme, making free home antibody tests available for up to 8,000 Covid-19-positive people per day. The UK Health Security Agency will provide finger-prick tests to gain more insights into immunity against Covid-19 from vaccination and infection. Individuals aged above 18 years can opt-in to be part of the programme when booking a PCR test for Covid-19 via NHS Test and Trace service.

Diagnostic company LumiraDx has announced that the value of its business combination agreement with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), CA Healthcare Acquisition, has decreased from $5bn to $3bn. The company cited general market drops in Covid-19 testing volumes and the recent market for publicly trading diagnostic firms as the primary reasons for the revision. Earlier this month, LumiraDx obtained Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for its SARS-CoV-2 Ab test.

Israel has rolled out antibody testing for children aged as young as three years to obtain data on the number of youths who did not receive a Covid-19 vaccine but developed protection against the disease through infection. Vaccination of children aged 12 years and older is currently underway in the country. The new serological survey targets about 1.5 million children aged three to 12 years who are currently ineligible for a vaccine. Children found to have adequate antibodies will not be required to quarantine on exposure to a Covid-19 patient, which is intended to limit schoolyear disruptions.

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