Canada’s National Immunity Task has an ambitious goal ahead to show herd immunity results until mid-July, which is in a week from now.
The objective is to test as many individuals as possible to COVID-19 antibodies to see whether someone was infected or not, and if they developed antibodies.
However, the presence of coronavirus antibodies in the blood is not a guarantee for long-lasting protection of new infections.
According to Dr. Timothy Evans, executive director of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, countries that conduct antibody testing, have a better insight of the virus spread, and in most of them, the serology tests results are showing that infection rate is 10-20 times higher than previously detected.
The task force is examining the 40,000 blood samples from donors who donated blood to Canadian Blood Services and Hema Quebec.
With 1,600 analyzed samples per day, the first results of this study are expected in mid-July.
Additionally, Evans said: “By the end of the month of July, we expect to have a more broken-down picture of what we call the seroprevalence, the presence of antibodies in the blood, that will look at it by age group and geographic location.”
The individual antibody testing results won’t be given back to the donors, as this testing program serves to detect a general number of infected cases and people with developed immunity.
Also, all pregnant women in Canada will have to test for coronavirus antibodies, as an obligatory procedure along with other routine tests that pregnant women usually undergo. At the moment, 25,000 of them are getting tested.
The joined results from the both testing programs should show more relevant testing data than before.