COVID-19 antibody testing to become more accessible to all Milton Keynes residents

    As part of the latest government guidance, those who have previously tested positive for coronavirus will be able to take an antibody test to see if they are protected.

    The government's new programme is intended to produce more data on antibody protection following infection by different coronavirus variants.

    From Tuesday (24/08), anyone aged 18 or over in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, will be able to opt in to the programme when receiving a PCR test.

    If a participant tests positive for COVID-19 then they will be sent two-finger prick antibody tests to complete at home and send back for analysis.

    The first of these tests should be taken as soon as possible after the patient receives their positive result, and the second should be taken 28 days later.

    Up to 8,000 people will be taking part in the programme, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which is running it.

    Speaking about the importance of this new milestone in the UK's testing programme, Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Our new national antibody testing will be quick and easy to take part in [and by] doing so you'll be helping strengthen our understanding of COVID-19 as we cautiously return to a more normal life.

    "I'm proud to see all parts of the UK uniting around this new initiative and working together to arm ourselves with even more valuable insights into how COVID-19 vaccines are protecting people up and down the UK."

    UKHSA's chief executive Dr Jenny Harries added: "We are rolling out antibody testing across the UK to gain vital insight into the impact of our vaccination programme and immune responses to different variants of COVID-19.

    "This innovative programme is only possible thanks to the thousands of people who continue to help with studies on vaccine and treatment effectiveness each week.

    "The best way to protect yourself and those around you is by getting vaccinated. I encourage anyone who has not yet come forward to book their first and second jabs."

    For more information on antibody testing, you can view the recently updated government guidance by clicking here.

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