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We at Church Pharmacy understand that there is a lot of information being circulated right now about all things COVID-19 testing and we are here to make things a little clearer…

How do I decide what test is best for myself, my patients, my colleagues and my clinic?

Knowing if you, your colleagues or your patients have had Coronavirus will help you safely and efficiently return to your clinic and will provide yourself and your patients with the assurance required to proceed safely with the administration of treatments. A finger-prick antibody test may help as it provides rapid on-site results and an indication of whether you or your patient have built up COVID-19 Antibodies. This result will help you better risk assess individuals and your clinic’s overall business accordingly.

For up to date guidance and resources to help you get ready to return to clinic Click here.

What COVID-19 tests are currently available and how do they work? 
Antibody Detection Tests within a Professional Setting

As the name suggests, tests for the presence of two types of specific COVID-19 antibodies, IgG (past infection) and IgM (current/recent infection). Sensitivity measures how often a test correctly generates a positive result for people who have the antibodies to the condition that is being tested for i.e. a ‘true positive’. 

The test we have available is 98.66% accurate at giving a true positive result, requires a simple finger-prick blood sample and the results are displayed on the test kit within 10 to 20 minutes, almost instant! 

RT-PCR Lab Tests

These tests are highly accurate if the patients' swab samples are taken properly. This type of test can tell you if you are currently infected with the virus, however, this test does not tell you if you have been previously infected and developed the antibodies against Coronavirus. Swab samples are taken from the nose and throat, analysed in a lab and results can take 24-48 hours, the result is only as good as when the swab sample was actually taken. RT-PCR tests can be an important tool to use alongside the antibody test to help re-confirm results.  

Why not consider COVID-19 testing opportunities for your clinic?

This in-vitro diagnostic device (IVD) is for healthcare professional use only and not regulated for home use.

Yes, this rapid point-of-care COVID-19 Antibody Test that we are supplying has been MHRA approved to be supplied to healthcare professionals to be used in a professional capacity only. The MHRA requires all manufacturers of professional use COVID-19 Antibody Tests to contact them so that they can advise if a testing product can be placed on the UK market.

It is important to note that currently, the MHRA have not approved any home use antibody tests and therefore these tests are to be used in a professional capacity only, ensuring this test is carried out by a trained professional helps ensure that the patients’ blood sample is taken safely, the test results are interpreted correctly and the appropriate follow-up guidance is provided by the healthcare professional to the patient.

This rapid point-of-care antibody finger-prick blood test detects two types of antibodies - IgG (past infection) and IgM (current/recent infection).

  • Clinical Sensitivity (accuracy for COVID-19 antibody detection) – 98.66%*
  • Clinical Specificity – 99.82%*
  • Rapid result with simple finger-prick in approximately 10 minutes.
  • Easy on-site testing for yourself, your staff and your patients.
  • CE certified.
  • MHRA approved for sale and healthcare professional use.

*Clinical Sensitivity and Specificity based on clinical data study carried out on 1000 individuals at 14 days or more following onset of symptoms. The MHRA Target Product Profile requirements (as of 20.05.2020) for COVID-19 Antibody tests is a clinical study carried out on a sample size of a minimum of 200 individuals, 98% for both Clinical Sensitivity and Clinical Specificity on specimens collected 20 days or more following onset of symptoms. Clinical Sensitivity is the positive detection of COVID-19 IgG antibodies, these antibodies begin production at days 10-14 days following onset of symptoms and this increases incrementally, therefore this test exceeds the MHRA requirements

  • Knowing if you, your colleagues or your patients have had Coronavirus.
  • Providing yourself and your patients the assurance to proceed safely with the administration of treatments.
  • Helping to ensure a safe working environment.
  • Enabling you to offer additional services to your patients.

For optimum results, the test should be performed at 14 days or more following onset of symptoms. If a positive test result is obtained and there is a concern about a current infection, we advise performing a PCR Swab Test and seeking medical advice.

In light of recent MHRA guidance (published 28.05.2020) the guidance in relation to the rapid point-of-care type COVID-19 Antibody Tests such as this test remains unchanged.

The recently published guidance and changes are in relation to laboratory-based COVID-19 Antibody Tests that were originally granted MHRA approval to be used with a venous blood sample and to be carried out by a healthcare professional.

These laboratory-based COVID-19 Antibody Tests were instead marketed and sold by companies to be carried out by the patient at home (not by a healthcare professional in a professional capacity) using a finger-prick blood sample (not venous blood) and sent to the laboratory for analysis. Therefore, these tests were being used off-label and not covered by their CE certification which invalidated the granted approval.

The MHRA has therefore temporarily stopped sales of these laboratory-based tests until further validation of the sample collection kits and the sample type is carried out to support how companies wish to market their intended use.

This test is classed as an "in vitro diagnostic" medical device (IVD) and all medical devices have to be CE marked, this antibody test is CE certified and marked.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Massage the left ring finger upwards towards the pulp.
Disinfect the collection area with an alcohol swab and puncture fingertip using lancet.
After the blood flows naturally, wipe off the first drop with an aseptic dry cotton ball. Using the pipette, fill the tip with blood. Avoid collecting air bubbles.
Load blood sample to the sample hole of the test cassette via the pipette or directly from your finger.
Load 2-3 drops of the diluent to the sample hole of the cassette.
Leave the test cassette at room temperature for approximately 10 minutes and read results.

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