Coronavirus antibody test

 

Discounted for Simplyhealth health plan customers

Together with Square Health, our virtual GP provider, we're able to offer our customers the antibody test at a subsidised rate of £49 per person (normally £99), for up to 4 adults.

 

The Public Health England (PHE) approved antibody test that can tell you whether you've developed antibodies and whether they have remained in your body, providing some clarity in a pretty hectic world. As the vaccination programme continues to roll out across the UK, we have updated our FAQs section at the bottom of this page, to reflect this.

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Blood test method approved by Public Health England
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A health professional will come to you, so you don't need to travel
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Results get emailed to you in 5-7 days
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24/7 virtual GP appointments to give you ongoing advice and support
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Order an antibody test * Not got a plan? Join Simplyhealth today

Terms and conditions apply
*Please note testing is currently only available in the UK and to over 18s only

 

How the antibody test helped Guy



"After suspecting I’d had COVID-19 back in late March (loss of taste and smell, cough, fever, aches, fatigue) but not being able to get a test then, I really wanted to see if I had had it. When the antibody test was offered it seemed sensible to have it. 

When it came back positive it was both a sense of relief and confirmation. Relief that I’d had it and recovered well compared to a lot of people, and confirmation that it wasn’t just a nasty cold or flu. It hasn’t changed how I act though - I still wear masks where I need to, wash hands etc and do all of the things we’re being told to follow. It was absolutely worth having the test to know that I had had it, and that I still had antibodies nearly 6 months later."

Guy Collier

 

Simplyhealth customer who had an antibody test

The facts behind the test


What is a coronavirus antibody test?

The antibody test is used to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the condition called COVID-19. Antibodies are protective proteins formed as part of your body’s normal immune response to an infection. The antibodies are typically present in the blood within 14 to 21 days from the time you develop symptoms of this coronavirus.

 

What can the antibody test tell me?


The coronavirus antibody test we provide will tell you if your blood contains antibodies to COVID-19, and if it does, you've had the infection. 

If you've had the virus within the last 14 to 21 days, the test may still be negative as your body might not have produced sufficient antibodies to be picked up by the test.

What won't the antibody test tell me?

 

COVID-19 is a novel or ‘new’ virus, and there is still a lot to learn on how it behaves and changes and the effect it has on the human immune system. Therefore, at the moment, the test is unable to tell you whether you are immune to the virus, and/or how long that immunity may last. 

It also can't tell you if you currently have the virus. The test for this is the ‘antigen’ PCR test (currently performed on a nose and throat swab). 

Scientists expect people with antibodies to have some degree of immunity (and therefore protection from future infections) but this is not yet conclusively proven. 

Is the antibody test accurate?

 

The test has been independently tested by Public Health England and results were published on 19 May 2020. Their analysis showed that all the negative samples tested negative giving a specificity of 100% (this is consistent with the manufacturer’s reported specificity of 100%).

 

The sensitivity of the test was also 100% where samples were taken 40 days after symptom onset (this is consistent with the manufacturer’s reported sensitivity of 100%).This means that everybody with a history of COVID-19 had a positive antibody test.

 

Where the sample was taken 14 days after symptom onset the sensitivity was 87%. This means that out of 100 people with a history of COVID-19 , 87 had a positive antibody test.


How do I get tested for COVID-19 antibodies?

 

We've made our testing process as stress-free as possible to reduce any anxiety you may have around the situation.
Find out how you can get tested for coronavirus antibodies in the steps below:

1

Antibody blood test for up to 4 people icon

 

Click the button to buy a test for up to 4 people.

Order your test

2

Book and appointment icon

 

Our test provider will get in touch to sort out a date. If you have booked for other people, they will be tested at the same time.

3

Health professional icon

 

A qualified health professional will visit you at the time and date chosen. They'll take a blood sample and be able to discuss the process with you.

4

Antibody testing icon

 

Your blood sample will be sent to a lab to be tested for the Covid-19 antibody.

5

Results emailed to you icon


Once the lab receives your blood sample, results should be emailed within 5-7 working days.

6

Follow-up support icon


If you have any questions or need follow-up support, you can use the SimplyConsult app to speak to a GP.

Exclusive access to antibody tests, subsidised by Simplyhealth

Subsidised antibody test icon


Up to four adults can have the test at £49 per person, provided they are taken at the same place and at the same time. Any additional tests will cost £99.

Book your test with Square Health

This offer is only available to our Simplyhealth plan customers

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If you're not with us yet, you could get fast, virtual access to 24/7 healthcare services with the Simplyhealth Plan. Cover starts from just £7.50/month.

Explore our plans

 

Got a question?


If you have any questions or concerns around the test, hopefully we can answer them below.

If not, you can get in touch with our friends at Square Health by clicking the button.

Contact Square Health

Frequently asked questions

  • Who is the test available to?

    This test is available for purchase by Simplyhealth Health Plan customers over the age of 18 who reside in the UK.

  • Who is providing the test?

    The test is delivered by Square Health Limited. Square Health also deliver the Simplyhealth Virtual GP service.

  • How many tests can I buy?

    You can buy up to four tests at the discounted price of £49 per test, provided all of the tests are carried out at the same time and at the same address.
     

  • Do my family have to be covered under my plan to be able to have the test?

    No.
     

  • Who can order the test?

    Only the policyholder can purchase the test. If you book a test for anybody else, you must have their consent to do so.
     

  • Do I need to take the test if I want to buy it for other people in my household?

    No, you can opt out of purchasing a test for yourself at the time of booking.

  • Can I buy a test for somebody outside of my household?

    Yes, but the tests you purchase must all be carried out at the same time and at the same residential address and current government guidance on social distancing must be adhered to.
     

  • Is there an age limit?

    Yes, the minimum age limit is 18. There is no upper age limit.
     

  • Can I claim for this test against my plan?

    No, this test is being provided and subsidised outside of your Health Plan entitlement, and we are providing you with access to this discounted test as an additional benefit.
     

  • Why can’t I have the test if I live outside of the UK?

    Currently  Public Health England has approved antibody testing for coronavirus. It is important that Simplyhealth follows public health guidance and respect government restrictions in each of the devolved nations, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. As soon as we become comfortable that our service is aligned with  local guidelines, the tests will become available to Simplyhealth customers in other regions.
     

  • How can I book a test?

    You can book a test online through the ‘Order an antibody test’ button on our website, and sign in using your Simplyhealth log in details. You can also book over the phone by calling 0300 100 1144 and you will need to quote your policy number.
     

  • What information will I need to provide when I order the test?

    You’ll need to provide the name, date of birth, and an email or postal address for each person you are ordering a test for. We need an email or home address for each person so that their test results can be sent directly to them.
     

  • Will the nurse or phlebotomist be wearing PPE? Do I have to wear PPE? Will you provide this?

    The nurse or phlebotomist will arrive wearing PPE. It is your choice if you also wear PPE, but you will need to provide this yourself.
     

  • When and how do I receive my results?

    You will typically receive your results within 7 days of your test. You’ll receive the results by email if you provided an email address when booking your appointment, otherwise results will be sent by post by Square Health.
     

  • Who else will see my test results?

    Test results will only be shared with the individual who had the test. In addition all results will be anonymised and made available to Public Health England in order to assist with the mapping of Covid-19.
     

  • What are the possible outcomes of the test?

    The test will provide either a positive or a negative result.  A positive result means the antibodies to Covid-19 have been detected in your blood.  In a few cases the test may not have been able to be performed accurately, in this case you will be contacted by Square Health and another test will be booked as soon as possible. This re-test will be free of charge.
     

  • Will the results be shared with my GP?

    No.
     

  • What if I need to cancel or postpone my test?

    You’ll need to contact our partner, Square Health, on 0300 100 1144. Please note that you may not be entitled to a refund if you cancel your booking.
     

  • Does the test price include VAT?

    Clinical services are exempt from VAT.
     

  • If I’ve had Covid-19 symptoms, is there a timeframe to wait before ordering a test?

    Yes. We recommend you wait at least 21 days from onset of symptoms before booking an antibody test.
     

  • Do I need to pay for any postage costs?

    The cost of postage is incorporated into the overall price, you won’t be asked to pay any extra.
     

  • Are there any circumstances in which I should not take the test?

    There are no specific reasons to not having the antibody test. However, if you are immunocompromised, suffer from a bleeding disorder or have any other serious health concerns, you should discuss them with a GP first.
     

  • Why can I only order 4 tests at the discounted price?

    We want to provide all of our Health Plan customers with the opportunity to have a test therefore we have capped it to four per policyholder to ensure we can meet demand.
     

  • If I don’t use all 4 of the antibody tests on offer for £49 each in one single appointment, can I use them at a later date?

    No. The offer of £49 per test for up to 4 individuals is based on a single nurse visiting your chosen address. If you require a further test at a later date you can purchase this at the full price of £99.

  • I don’t want to have my blood taken; is there another way to take the test?

    At this current time there is no other clinically validated way to take the test.

  • If I have a test will I be taking a test and/or nurse away from a keyworker?

    Our service is provided on a private basis, without using NHS time or facilities. The healthcare professionals we use either do not work in the NHS or have dedicated time they spend in the private sector and our service is being provided in non-NHS time. In addition, your blood sample will be analysed by a private laboratory.
     

  • What times are the appointments available?

    The appointment schedules will vary depending on the postal times in your area. It is important that your blood sample reaches the lab within a specific timeframe and your appointment will be scheduled accordingly. Appointments will not be available on Saturdays.
     

  • After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive on the coronavirus antibody test?

    If your body develops an immune response which is the goal of vaccination, you may test positive on the coronavirus antibody test. The antibody test cannot tell you if the antibody response was caused by a previous Covid-19 infection (natural immunity) or is triggered by the body’s response to the vaccination.
     

  • If I have tested positive on the coronavirus antibody test, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

    Yes, you should still have the vaccine. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, you should still get vaccinated regardless of whether you have already had COVID-19 infection. At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting infected again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person.

    We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data on how well the vaccines work.

    Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of reducing risk from COVID-19 infection.
     

  • After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, if I test negative on the coronavirus antibody test, does this mean the vaccine has not worked?

    No, the vaccine can give you immunity regardless of a negative coronavirus antibody test. Firstly, antibodies are only produced 2 to 3 weeks after infection with COVID-19 and vaccination induced antibodies may also take some weeks to develop. Also, antibodies are produced by B-cells and are only one part of developing immunity and protection from infection. The body can develop immunity through T cells which can also help to improve your response to a future infection.  
     

  • Can a positive coronavirus antibody test distinguish between antibodies produced after a COVID-19 infection and antibodies produced after a Vaccine?

    No. A positive antibody test may be due to the immunisation or a prior Covid-19 infection, but this test will not distinguish between the two. In addition, the antibody test will only tell you if you have antibodies, it does not tell you what the antibody level is.
     

  • What should I do if I haven’t received my results?

    If you haven’t received your results please follow the checklist below:

    • Check your junk email for your results

    • Each person should have received a confirmation email regarding the purchasing of the test, if you or anyone in your group have not received an email then the incorrect address may have been entered. Incorrect email addresses can mean your results do not reach you or the other members of your order. Please email [email protected] with your order details and correct email addresses.

    • Bear in mind your results and your guests results will not arrive at the same time.

    • Consider whether it has been at least 7 days since your test took place.

    If you have checked all of the above and you have still not received your results please call 0300 100 1144.

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