Covid-19 Antibody Home Testing When They Become Available

Although, I understand that present testing can help gauge the virus that is active and help manage this, it doesn't cover all who may have had the virus already. I personally believe that much more of the public have had the virus long before lockdown measures had been put in place, late January into February and are immune even if we do not know yet how long this immunity will last.

The antibody test would not only allow the government to measure the percentage of the population who had been infected, which I think is crucial to moving forward, but would give those who have had the virus confidence in the knowledge that they cannot catch this and pass it onto the more vulnerable.

I believe companies like Roche are developing this and I’m sure the public would pay for access to this test. Of course there will be those who cannot afford this, however I believe if most who can afford paid then the government could subsidise those who cant. Also this would let us know if there is to be a second wave of infection the numbers who would be involved.

Why the contribution is important

The Covid-19 Antibody test is the way forward, without a vaccine just now this test would give us a clearer idea of those already infected, lower anxiety that grows daily due to fear of catching the virus and uncertainty.

If the test is positive you know you cannot infect others particularly the vulnerable. If negative you can take additional measures to keep yourself and those around you safe. You would know if symptoms you have are in fact the virus or some other infection. This would then reduce the need for active Covid testing to those who have the virus and early intervention.

by HelenH on May 09, 2020 at 09:23AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.9
Based on: 17 votes


  • Posted by Elkie May 09, 2020 at 09:37

    It might be a giant can of worms. Those with positive results could think they were free to act as they please. Those with negative results would feel disadvantaged and many would seek to get infected as soon as possible.
    But, there really is no way around it. We need those numbers to be able to move forwards.
    Instead of trying to keep the public in the dark, plans should be made, how to handle these issues.
    Other countries, like Germany, had the advantage to test for infection on a massive scale.
    Maybe, with antibody testing, Scotland, or even the UK, could lead. Only once the results of these tests have been published, any meaningful comparisons regarding the number of losses in different countries are possible. Could Germany have done so well, because they simply had a lot less initial infections? Time will tell.
  • Posted by flute May 09, 2020 at 09:38

    Is there any evidence that having had the virus prevents you from getting it again? I believe I have had it, so would have antibodies, but is there still a chance I could get more ill a second time, or worse, still pass it on to others I’m in contact with?
  • Posted by DaveMac May 09, 2020 at 09:54

    The fact we still don’t have a functional antibody test is just another broken promise. Having an accurate antibody test would help accelerate our understanding of the behaviour of the virus in the community.
  • Posted by HelenH May 09, 2020 at 09:59

    I can see as that some might see the antibody test as an “ immunity pass” I personally do not think that it should be used in this way. I do think we need to know to establish the percentage of population already infected as a means for us as individuals and as a collective to make sensible choices, to protect our vulnerable. I believe myself and family has this virus in February, I am convinced of this now, yet I do not fear catching this if I did not, there is nothing I can do to stop this, but I do fear if I did passing it onto those with underlying health problems and elderly could be deadly, I would wish for this test to be used in a clinical fashion for recording numbers and reducing anxiety in the public.

    When the vaccine arrives as I have no doubt it will we will not know how long its immunity will last. You cant overcome something unless you know the magnitude of the problem, this is only my opinion.
  • Posted by Johnjul May 09, 2020 at 10:41

    This is a great idea. We would have a new ‘immune society’ who could get on with their lives. Another society without immunity who would need to take more care. Immune people can still contract a mutated version of the virus and pass it on much like the flu strains? No solution is simple eg what if one member of your family is immune but another is not?
  • Posted by HelenH May 09, 2020 at 11:43

    Think it would be extremely selfish to think you could have a divided society, and certainly not what I’m saying.

    Our best bet just now is a vaccine, as we don't know like those who have immunity how long any vaccine might have immunity it all guess work but antibody testing would give us a snap shot of how we stand at this moment. Yes it could mutate, like the flu these are things we do not know just now.

    As for me if I wasn't immune and my family and friends are I’d be happy to be with them as I would know they cant catch it and pass it onto me. That would be a comfort and the best I could hope for given the circumstances. Of course this would be the same if I was immune, I know my family and friends who are not immune would feel the same! As it stands the more immune we know about the more protection we can offer to those in society who aren't immune, and lessen the likelihood of them catching the virus. We can put in place measures to protect them as much as we can in practical terms, making sure they get the vaccine first, as I would if immune not require this immediately.
  • Posted by Bec May 09, 2020 at 13:43

    Having a better idea of how many people have been infected would also give us a better idea of how deadly this disease actually is and would allow better planning.

    I agree, the general public should be able to buy it and the government should provide it for free to those on qualifying benefits.

    I am however uncomfortable with the idea of two societies, those who are immune and those who are not. I just think more data would assist in public health policy.
  • Posted by GillHain May 09, 2020 at 15:35

    It would be mean there is a clearer understanding of what is being dealt with.
  • Posted by HelenH May 09, 2020 at 15:55

    I have spoke to family and friends who genuinely believe no one has had Covid other than those medically tested positive, and they are waiting to catch this and are anxious and afraid.

    I can say no that not the case there will be so many many more who have had this virus than has been tested, however folks are looking to the government for those figures and until this can be demonstrated via mass antibody test being available, people will remain anxious, people need clear facts that can allow them to be less stressed.
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