Coronavirus: Free antibody tests to be available on NHS after deal made with Roche, government says

Coronavirus antibody tests will be available on the NHS following an agreement between the government and pharmaceutical firm Roche, Downing Street has said.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will set out further details later about a deal on the supply of the tests – which show if someone has had COVID-19 and if they have gained immunity – after negotiations were carried out.
The prime minister’s official spokesman told reporters: “The tests will be free for people who need them, as you would expect.

“NHS and care workers will be prioritised for the tests.”

England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, last week promised the tests would be rolled out “rapidly”.

The blood tests, made by Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche, were given approval by Public Health England on 14 May after scientists at its Porton Down facility found the test was “highly specific” and had an accuracy of 100%.

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