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Q&A: Who will be tested for antibodies - and are we going to get immunity passports?

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A nurses helps to primary health care centre director and nurse Gloria Jodar (R) as she gets dressed in personal protective equipment  (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

A nurses helps to primary health care centre director and nurse Gloria Jodar (R) as she gets dressed in personal protective equipment (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Getty Images

A nurses helps to primary health care centre director and nurse Gloria Jodar (R) as she gets dressed in personal protective equipment (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Q. The health service is to start testing people next month for antibodies to see if they have had the coronavirus. Will that result in people with antibodies getting immunity passports?

A. No. Screening involves a blood test for antibodies to find who has had the coronavirus and recovered.

Two or three weeks after the infection takes place, the immune system builds antibody responses against the virus, which can be detected by a lab test. The aim is to get a better measure of the true rate of infection here.