UPDATE – according to some news outlets, the UK authorities have decided to ask private clinics to cease providing antibody testing of this nature.
I’ve not posted anything about the novel coronavirus here in my website at all. The last thing I posted was some sports highlights back in February of this year, which we now know was a time when the Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) virus was spreading quietly, behind the scenes, and largely away from the glare of media attention.
I’ve updated parts of this post below as I have received and taken this antibody test – so this is a first hand account.
To clarify, because there is a lot of “fake news” out there, the test I’ve reviewed below is not a “finger prick” test. It is the IgG Abbott antibody test, which required me to drain several mls of blood into a vial. There is some debate as to whether this capillary blood is different to blood drawn from a vein; but several commentators seem to have this Abbott test confused with “finger prick” tests which were not given approval in April.
The Abbott test and Roche test have been approved for use in England. There has been a pause this week (correct 27 May 2020) as the use of capillary blood has not specifically been approved. There have been clinical tests using blood drawn from veins, which have been approved for use in England, and have a high degree of accuracy.
For more information, see this article in the Financial Times.
Do your own research, and satisfy yourself. If you’d like to take advice from the British Government, that’s fine. They were “guided by science” all the way to the top of the the “most Covid-19 deaths in Europe” chart. A poor show, indeed, given a head start: we watched a slow train-wreck unfold in Spain and Italy in real-time, before doing exactly as they had done, only worse.
Perhaps the Cabinet’s interpretation of scientific data leaves something to be desired?
Before you ask… no, this is not hindsight. There were scientists saying the UK response was wrong at the time. Do your own research.
In Britain, we saw an initially quiet response from our political leadership in early March turn into a full-scale disaster management solution – total lockdown – the like of which I have certainly never experienced.
It has been a very difficult time.
The WHO told us to test, test, test, but for much of the time, in Britain, we were asked to self-isolate if we experienced the symptoms of novel coronavirus, in order to avoid spreading the virus to other people.
But — did we actually have Covid-19 at all?
Is there a way to find out?
Yes, there is.
There is a test for novel coronavirus antibodies which is claimed to be highly accurate. Many thousands of these tests have been ordered by the UK Government. These tests are being first deployed for the good people of the National Health Service (NHS), before later likely being made available to the general public.
But do you want to know if that illness you had earlier this year was really Covid-19?
The test is known as the Covid-19 IgG Antibody Test, and it’s available to order online, take at home, and return for very fast results.
Order Covid-19 Antibody Test Online
How does it work?
- The website linked to above (called Your Sexual Health – yes, they usually do online tests for STIs) will send you a testing kit in the mail.
- When you receive this, follow the directions, and mail it back to the indicated address.
- It is a blood test, and as soon as the lab receives it, within one day, you’ll get your results. Follow the instructions which are inside the package.
Who provides this test?
This test is sold by a website run by UK doctors, called Your Sexual Health. Ordinarily, they provide sexual health tests discretely, online.
How Much Does This Test Cost?
The test costs GBP
£99 £89, and this includes the postage fees to receive, and return, your kit.
A Blood Test?! Does it Hurt?
I’ll be honest – it does hurt a little bit. You are advised to use your little finger. Because I was a goalkeeper for many years, one of my little fingers is no good for this, so I ended up using both little fingers, and then my ring finger.
I will give a tip – use your ring finger to start with. I would have done the whole sample from this one finger easily.
Pain? Only a small prick (oh, do grow up!), when you use the device (they send 2 or 3 of these) which pierces a small dot in the end of your finger. It’s a short sharp bit of pain, like a tiny injection. If you don’t like injections, you might not enjoy it. I found it to be fine.
You then have to fill a small pot with your own blood, label the pot.
They provide wipes and etc, but you need a dry tissue also.
Wash your hands thoroughly before and afterwards. You should be doing this regularly anyway – there’s a virus at large 🙂
When do results arrive?
The results are made available within 1 day after you post back your completed sample – and they are added into your online account. You don’t need to wait longer than this.
How Accurate are Antibody Test Results?
According to the makers of this test, when this was tested in China against those who were known to have had novel coronavirus, this antibody test is said to have been 100% accurate. It should, therefore, be able to tell you with some degree of certainty if you have had Covid-19.
What Would a Positive Result Mean?
A positive result would mean that you have the Covid-19 antibodies. This is likely to indicate that you have had, and have recovered from, the virus. It is too early to know if this will mean you are immune from the virus in future. Experts are unsure.
However, it would allow you to know for sure that you have had – or have not had – novel coronavirus, which may be reassuring, and allow you to make plans accordingly.
Personally, I would like to know if I’ve already had this virus, as I would expect – my opinion – this makes me at lower risk of catching the virus again. I’d feel a little safer on my trips to buy essential shopping.
I have ordered tests for myself and members of my family for these reasons.
What is an antibody test for, since we don’t know about immunity?
For me, it is for peace of mind. Knowing if those symptoms you had was actually Covid-19 – or not – is something worth knowing. If you already had it, you understand what the symptoms were, and you know – for certain – that you overcame this virus, which has caused serious problems for a great number of people. If you did not have the virus – and don’t have the antibodies – you’ll know that, too. Perhaps it will drive you to stay extra safe.
Either way, knowing is better than not knowing… in my view.
Note the links & buttons in this post are “affiliate links” which means the website will pay a commission if you use them to order online (it’s how I pay for this website) – if you’d rather visit direct, you may do so here.
Leave Your Comments
If you do order and take one of these tests, please feel free to add a comment below to describe your experience. You don’t have to reveal your results.
Alternatively, if you would not order this test, feel free to add your opinion as for why not. I asked several of my friends and colleagues, and opinion was divided as to whether or not they would pay for a test. There’s no judgment from here – I personally like to know and to plan with as much data as possible, but I understand completely the alternative viewpoint.
Stay safe, reduce the spread & save lives, wherever you are. 🙏