Rapid-fire finger prick test for coronavirus antibodies may be ready before 2021

A coronavirus antibody test that requires just a finger prick, takes only 20 minutes for a result and is virtually 100% accurate could be available by the end of the year, the developer says.

The UK Rapid Test Consortium, made up of Oxford University and several British diagnostics firms, completed the test’s first major human trials last month, the Sun reported.

“It was found to be 98.6 percent accurate, and that’s very good news,” consortium leader Chris Hand told the Daily Telegraph. “We’re now scaling up with our partners to produce hundreds of thousands of doses every month.”

Britain is now planning to buy millions of the tests for a free mass screening program that could be up and running before the end of the year, the Sun reported. The test could also be ordered online.

The Department of Health and Social Care, however, wants more proof of the test’s reliability and whether antibodies actually protect a person from getting the infection again, the news outlet reported.

“While these tests will help us better understand how coronavirus is spreading across the country, we do not yet know whether antibodies indicate immunity from reinfection or transmission,” a department spokesperson said.

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