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Coronavirus: Screening

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 163664, tabled on 5 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential role of serology testing in the Government's long term plan to tackle covid-19.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

22 March 2021

Serology testing is a key part of the Government’s testing programme. Specifically, antibody testing is routinely used in research and surveillance to improve our understanding of how the immune system responds to the virus that causes COVID-19. Whilst antibody testing is the core component of serology testing in response to COVID-19, other types of serology testing are also supported by the Government as part of research studies including analysing the role of immune cells not linked to antibodies.

Serology testing is vital for vaccine effectiveness monitoring, which is already taking place at scale through research studies. Public Health England will continue to gather the insights of these studies including through the use of antibody testing and integrate them into analysis to ensure up-to-date assessments of vaccine effectiveness as deployment continues.

Named day
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