Millions of virus antibody blood tests set for France

The blood tests are expected to help provide a picture of how far the virus has spread throughout the population

Millions of blood tests that will check if people have antibodies against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 - which causes Covid-19 - will soon be available across France at local laboratory testing centres.

American company Abbott has confirmed that 4.5 million tests will be available in May, followed by six million from June onwards. The tests were first ordered by the French government at the end of March.

The tests will soon be available at town laboratories for people who have a GP prescription, but will not yet be reimbursed by la Sécurité Sociale, said French health authority la Direction Générale de la Santé (DGS).

No shortages are expected, the company said, as “the chain of procurement has been secured”, with the active part of the tests being produced in Europe.

Blood tests are separate to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which are used to see if someone has the virus at the time of testing. Instead, these tests look for a certain type of antibody in ...

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