COVID-19 Vaccine and Immune Response
What can this COVID-19 Vaccine and Immune Response – “Quantitative” Antibody Blood Test tell me?
One in every 100 people does not produce antibodies against their vaccine, and this has been linked to increased hospitalisation and serious illness. Recent research has shown that the early immune response in people who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 can predict the level of protection they will have against the virus over time, as well as your body’s ability to combat viral variants such as the delta variant, which is responsible for the majority of new Covid-19 cases in the UK. Some scientists believe that when people are admitted to the hospital with severe Covid-19, a test for antibody status should be performed.
This new test was designed to aid in the evaluation of individuals’ immune status through quantitative measurement of IgG antibodies against the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2.
The home test involves taking a finger-prick blood sample in the privacy of your own home. You can also choose to have a blood sample drawn in-store.
Whether you’ve recently been vaccinated or caught Covid-19 naturally, this IgG test will confirm whether your immune system has developed neutralising IgG antibodies and provide a quantitative measure of your body’s response (between 0 and 80,000 AU/ml).
It will assist you in determining whether your immune system’s response to vaccination or infection was Covid-19 or something else.
IgG levels often drop quickly in the months following an infection, and this test will allow you to track your IgG levels over time to see if they fall below the levels that are thought to confer immunity.
You have two options for completing your Coronavirus IgG Antibody Home Test:
- Domestic – Have the finger-prick testing kit delivered to you so that you can collect your blood sample, register your test, and return it to our lab using the provided Royal Mail 1st Class envelope.
- In-store – Make an appointment for our trained team to take your blood sample at your nearest My London Pharmacy (an additional £30 phlebotomy fee applies).
You will receive your results via email once your sample has been processed. Please remember to register your test before returning it to us (link will be provided after purchase).
Order your IgG Quantitative Immune Response Test today to get tested.
What distinguishes this test from older antibody tests, and what will it reveal?
The older IgG and IgM antibody tests determined whether you had antibodies in your system from previous Covid-19 infections.
This new quantitative test, developed by the world’s leading laboratory diagnostics provider, will tell you if you have Covid-19 and if your vaccination was effective. You will also receive an accurate assessment of how well your immune system has responded. This is a significant improvement, providing you with far more useful information than was previously available to us.
Your sample will be tested to determine the level of IgG antibodies in your body. If you receive a positive result, it means that the test detected an AU/ml level greater than 50 units, which can be used to confirm that you have been exposed to coronavirus or that your body has produced an immune response to your vaccination.
This latest IgG test, like the previous one, measures a different viral protein (from May 2020). The old IgG test did not assess how your body responded to various vaccines, whereas the new test does. This quantitative IgG test assesses your IgG antibody levels against the spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2, whereas the previous test assessed IgG antibodies against nucleoprotein. The spike protein is the primary protein involved in the body mounting an immune response. It is also the protein that all immunizations mimic in order to stimulate the body’s immune system to fight off the virus, so this test will tell you how well your body responded to the vaccine.
Please keep in mind that it is not yet clear how your immune response relates to whether or not you are immune. For more information, please see this whitepaper. Because research into this is ongoing, do not assume you are immune – even if the test results are positive. This virus has not been around long enough for scientists to determine what levels of IgG antibodies, even at high levels, make you immune. However, a recent study found that not developing antibodies to the virus from a vaccine was linked to increased hospitalisation and mortality, which may affect 1 in 100 people.
There is evidence that IgG antibody levels can predict protection against COVID-19 vaccines, but this is still under investigation. The team shows “that neutralisation level is highly predictive of immune protection, and provides an evidence-based model of SARS-CoV-2 immune protection that will assist in developing vaccine strategies to control the future trajectory of the pandemic,” according to a recent paper.
An earlier paper found higher ratios of IgG spike protein antibodies in outpatients with mild illness versus severely ill patients, implying that higher IgG against the spike protein protects against severe illness.
When should I take this examination?
This test should be performed at least seven days after your first coronavirus infection or vaccination. Your levels are likely to rise for another 15 days, when it is 99.4 percent sensitive in confirming your exposure to the virus’s spike protein.
How do I take my own finger-prick blood sample?
Your test kit includes simple instructions for taking your own finger blood sample. If you want to see how it works, watch our tutorial video on the finger prick sampling procedure.
Where can I find in-store testing?
Many of our My London Pharmacy clinics are open seven days a week and are located throughout the city of London, Slough, and Guildford. Our complete list of locations can be found here.
When and how will I receive my results?
We will email you a certificate with your results as soon as your sample has been tested. Your sample will be tested to determine the level of IgG antibodies in your body (between 0 and 80,000 AU/ml). If you receive a positive result, it means that the test detected an AU/ml level greater than 50 units, which can be used to confirm that you have been exposed to coronavirus or that your body has produced an immune response to your vaccination.
After your sample arrives at our laboratory, your results will be ready in 1-2 days.
How long will my IgG levels last if I test positive?
Because research into this is ongoing, it is not yet known how long antibodies last. There is evidence that people’s immune responses to infection decline significantly over the course of 6-9 months. It is currently unknown how long your IgG levels will remain elevated following vaccination. This test will be a very useful tool in assisting scientists in monitoring this.
Will this test tell me if I have coronavirus or if I am infectious?
No, this test will only determine whether your body produced IgG antibodies in your blood more than 7 (and ideally at least 15) days after a Covid-19 infection or vaccination.
If you want to see if you have coronavirus, please take our Coronavirus PCR Swab Test.
If you want to see if you are currently infected with coronavirus, please take our Coronavirus Rapid 15 Minute Antigen Test.
Is there an NHS discount available?
Yes, we offer the test at a reduced rate to NHS employees. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contents of a home testing kit
Your testing kit will include the following items:
- A letter of introduction with instructions
- A tube for collecting blood
- Several lancets
- A request for testing form
- A holder for blood tubes
- Plastic biohazard bag
- A return envelope that has been pre-paid and tracked
- 2-3 day delivery – 48 hours tracked £2.49
- 3-5 day delivery – 2nd class signed Free
- Next day delivery – 24 hours tracked £4.49
- Delivered Next Day if ordered before 11:45 am Monday to Friday / Delivered Tuesday if ordered after 11:45am Friday to Sunday
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