To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason why the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has requested that laboratories pause processing self-collect finger-prick blood samples for covid-19 antibody testing.
Some United Kingdom providers such as high street pharmacies and private healthcare providers offer COVID-19 antibody testing for members of the public.
The test involves collecting a fingerprick blood sample into a small container following a set of instructions. The container is then sent to a laboratory for analysis and the results are returned direct to the person who took the test, with an indication of the reliability of the result.
The laboratory tests are CE marked and safe for use on blood drawn from the vein by a healthcare professional but have not yet been validated by the manufacturer of the test to be used with a fingerprick blood sample. The sample collection kits have not yet been validated for home use and we cannot be sure that lay people collecting samples themselves at home currently have sufficient support to collect samples in a way that will enable a laboratory to process to a reliable result.