By Alex Glenn • 22 August 2021 • 9:11
NEW Covid variant discovered by experts in France. Credit: Pixabay
UK to launch landmark coronavirus antibody testing scheme. The scheme is set start on Tuesday and it is expected that around 8000 volunteers will take part.
The scheme will begin on Tuesday, August 24, will be open to those aged 18 years and over. The scheme will be optional and open to those booking a PCR test through NHS Test and Trace. Thousands of volunteers will be sent an antibody test to complete at home. The test will then need to be sent for analysis at a laboratory.
According to the government this is the first time that antibody tests have been available to members of the public.
Speaking of the scheme Health 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.
“Our phenomenal vaccination programme continues to build a massive wall of defence across the country – already preventing around 24 million infections and more than 100,000 deaths in England alone. I urge everyone across the UK to get both vaccinations as soon as possible.”
Researchers will then be able to compare the two results and monitor immune responses.
Chief executive of the UK National Health Security Agency, 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 has been made possible thanks to the incredible British public who continue to come forward for testing when they develop symptoms and the millions of people who have had their jabs.
“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.”
In other COVID news, England’s holiday rules have changed 50 times during the pandemic, with even Transport Secretary Grant Shapps getting caught out by rule changes while being abroad.
So for during the coronavirus pandemic holidaymakers have had to cope with 50 changes to international travel rules. Travel chiefs describe the number of changes as “absolutely staggering”. They also said that the rules should be simplified to “put an end to this constant rollercoaster of changes”.
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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