Continued from last weeks journal.
An Antibody test is likely the final test you might have heard of and this differs from the previous two tests in that it is not looking for an active infection. Also known as a Serology test, it looks for antibodies in the blood which would have formed to fight the COVID-19 virus. This test tells you whether you have had the virus in the past, but does not tell you if you have an active infection and therefore plays quite a different role. A positive test will show you had the virus at some previous point and your immune systems has developed antibodies to fight and protect against the COVID-19 virus. A negative test means you have never had COVID before, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have an active infection at that time because antibodies would not have formed yet, while it is active in your body. Having had COVID-19 before does give you some level of immunity to the virus, however how strong the immunity is, how long it lasts for and generally how effective your natural protection is, has not yet been determined accurately. This test is a blood test which is sent to a lab for diagnosis and results.
As you can see, there are some major differences in how each test determines a result. Which is best for you depends on your situation and things such as how fast you need a result or how accurate it must be. The cost difference is quite large as well with PCR’s costing $150-$200 while we can secure antigen results from $40-$60. At the point of writing this article, majority of countries around the world require a PCR test for entry, while only a few accept Antigen tests (US and UK). For us Canadians, returning home is only allowed with a PCR test, even if you are vaccinated, so be aware if you’re making any travel plans!