Coronavirus Home Test Kits Availability?

Detecting active COVID-19 infections, or past exposure to the virus are two critically important tests for managing the spread of Coronavirus.

Ben Starling MSc. |Chief Executive

Last updated: 15 May 2020


I just wanted to update you on whether Vitall will be offering coronavirus testing. We know how useful a home test would be, and are aware that some providers have already offered this at extremely high prices. However, it is my understanding that they have not yet been able to fulfil these orders.

1. Detecting Active Infections (PCR Test)
Currently, Public Health England are overseeing all of the coronavirus testing in the UK. Centrally controlled testing is crucial to track the spread of the disease at a national level.

Our primary laboratory is an approved Public Health England laboratory and are currently processing swabs for COVID-19. However, they are limited to carrying out testing for people with symptomatic pneumonia only at this stage – i.e. hospital inpatients.

Unfortunately, this does mean that you are currently unable to check for an active infection unless you are admitted to hospital.

Due to the unprecedented global demand for testing reagents and instrumentation, we will only offer a home test when capacity has been increased and does not impact the testing of critical patients.

2. Detecting Past Infections (Antibody test)
It has been widely reported that most people infected with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms - some may not even know they have had the condition. The UK’s chief scientific advisor Patrick Vallance has talked about herd immunity, and if we find that over 60% of the population have already had the infection, then this may be successful and coronavirus will stop spreading.

Serological testing is used to identify if your blood has antibodies to the virus, indicating past exposure and current immunity. Many prospective serological test kits for Covid-19 have been developed globally, and are already being deployed on a large scale e.g. in Singapore. The UK government has announced that ‘millions of tests’ have been ordered and will be available in a few weeks.

Again, global demand for test kits is unprecedented. We will not offer an antibody test unless their distribution is aligned with the national effort, and the most vulnerable population is catered for first.

3. Assessing your Immune System (White Cell Count)
As above, it’s not yet possible to check for active coronavirus infection, or your immunity to the virus from home. However, it is possible to test your body’s ability to fight infection using an immune health test.

White blood cells are a critical part of your immune system. There are five major types of these cells and all help fight infections by attacking bacteria and viruses that invade the body.

A white blood cell count can detect hidden infections within your body and alert you to undiagnosed conditions, such as immune deficiencies and autoimmune disorders. These tests are included as part of our immune health test available at a discounted price here. 

4. Staying Healthy
Clearly the rapid spread of coronavirus has affected us all, and makes the management of our health and lifestyle even more important.

Maintaining a healthy immune system will be critical in the coming weeks and months. There are a number of things you can do to help with this; get your sleep, eat your greens & do more exercise! We’ll be expanding on these in more detail shortly.

I hope this helps you understand the current state of play with coronavirus testing, please feel free to contact me if you need any further details. I hope to bring you relevant updates shortly.

Until then, stay safe – and at home where possible!

Kind regards,

Ben Starling
CEO of Vitall

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