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Under a new scheme launched by the UK government, thousands of adults every day will receive free access to antibody testing for COVID-19. Any adult who books a PCR test via the Test and Trace system will be eligible to opt in for an antibody test.

Of those who opt in and test positive for COVID-19 through their PCR test, up to 8,000 each day will receive two finger prick home antibody tests to complete and send back for analysis. Data gleaned from the study will then be analysed and help to inform the UK’s approach to the virus moving forward.

NHS Test and Trace will work with the UK Health Security Agency to monitor antibody levels in those with COVID. The results will allow health authorities to estimate the proportion of people who contract coronavirus despite having pre-existing antibodies from a previous infection or vaccine.

UK National Health Security Agency Chief Executive Dr Jenny Harries said: “We are rolling out antibody testing across the UK to gain vital data into the impact of our vaccination programme and on 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.”

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