Last week, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) asked all private laboratories to pause offering Covid 19 IgG antibody testing using self-collect finger-prick samples, however, as Paul Harris, Charge Nurse from Blue Horizon Blood Tests explains: “It is still possible to be privately tested for COVID-19.
“We recognise that government agencies have to ensure the highest standards are being set and maintained. We shall not be offering self-collect finger-prick tests for COVID-19 until the MHRA gives the industry the all clear.
“However, we are assured the tests run through our partner laboratory prior to this imposed pause in proceedings were valid.”
The method used to verify accuracy was by having volunteers donate venous samples and capillary samples (ie finger-prick) at the same time. They tested both these samples and compared the results and found them to be almost exactly the same from a clinical/statistical point of view. This is a well recognised practice in laboratories and is known as validation – in essence ensuring that the test being offered is as accurate as claimed. This has been forwarded to the MHRA and we are confident of the outcome.
While the approach is under review, we are offering the same validated IgG test on samples collected from a vein – and have adjusted our test kits accordingly. Anyone trained in phlebotomy (blood taking) can use our Vacutainer Covid-19 test kits to take a venous blood sample which will be sent into our partner laboratory for analysis using an immunoassay kit from a PHE approved manufacturer.”
More details are available at www.bluehorizonbloodtests.co.uk/covid-19