Superdrug on Ferryquay Street in Derry
Today Superdrug announces it’s the first high street retailer to offer a Covid-19 antibody blood test via its Online Doctor service.
The move is part of Superdrug’s continued efforts to support the UK public through the coronavirus pandemic.
The antibody blood test, available at Superdrug Online Doctor (the UK’s leading online doctor website) is accurate and reliable. All of the components of the home sampling test kits are CE marked and the test is run by a UKAS-accredited laboratory.
Michael Henry, Superdrug’s Healthcare Director comments “We’re launching a Covid-19 antibody test because we’re confident of its accuracy and reliability. The Public Health England approved test is an accessible way for people to know whether they have already been infected with COVID-19. The test will only be available online via our online doctor service and will not be available in our stores.”
Superdrug doctor ambassador, Dr Zoe Williams comments “Now that Public Health England have approved certain antibody tests, it is great that Superdrug are offering the validated test to its customers. As a highly trusted high street retailer, Superdrug is well placed to offer this test, alongside the correct counselling and medical support. There are however things to consider before taking it. Receiving a positive antibody test result does not confer immunity, and it is important that people understand a positive test result does not mean you can be any more relaxed with the required hygiene and social distancing measures as set out by the government.”
About the Covid-19 antibody blood test
This is a blood test that looks for antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19). It detects the IgG, which is the protein that develops after infection. If positive, it means that the person tested had the virus at some point.
Anyone over 18 can take the test. If you’ve recently developed symptoms that might be attributable to COVID-19, you should wait until at least 14 days after the start of those symptoms to test for these antibodies, since it can take that long to develop them. If you haven’t had any symptoms recently, or never had them, you can test at any time.
How it works
A blood sampling kit is sent in the post. There are detailed instructions about how to carry it out with a simple finger prick using a lancet (similar to how diabetics test their sugar levels). A few drops of blood need to be collected into a small vial, secured in the packaging and posted to the UKAS-accredited lab using the pre-paid packaging. The results are then available from Superdrug Online Doctor within 24 hours of the sample reaching the lab.
COVID-19 antibody test accuracy
The test has a sensitivity of 97.5%. This means that it will detect positive antibodies 97.5% of the time. A small number of previous infections might go undetected. This might be for various reasons to do with there not being enough of an immune response developed by the individual, or the test not being able to detect the antibodies. These people will be informed that they don’t have antibodies but can test again at another time if they wish.
It has a specificity of 100%. This means that if you get a positive result, you can be sure the result is specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and there’s no cross-reactivity between other viral antibodies (such as flu).
Once the results are sent through from the lab, Superdrug online doctors will be able to review them and send a confidential secure message to the patient through their online account informing them of the outcome.
The COVID-19 Antibody Blood Test costs £69 and is available at https://onlinedoctor.superdrug.com/coronavirus-antibody-test-kits.html
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