UK paid $20M for faulty coronavirus antibody tests

UK paid $20M for faulty coronavirus antibody tests
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The British government paid $20 million for faulty coronavirus antibody tests from two Chinese companies, according to The New York Times. 

Prime Minister Boris JohnsonBoris JohnsonSwitzerland, Scotland report omicron cases UK tightens COVID-19 restrictions following omicron variant infections Macron tells UK to 'get serious' on migrant crisis amid fresh tensions MORE called the them “[a]s simple as a pregnancy test” in a statement announcing the negations on March 19, adding “It has the potential to be a total game changer.” 

The tests were found to be inaccurate by Oxford University this month, according to the Times. 


Half a million of the tests are in storage while the other 1.5 million bought have also gone unused. The British government is now scrambling to negotiate a way to retrieve at least some of the money it spent. 

Antibody tests, which reveal whether someone has ever been infected with the coronavirus, are just starting to be introduced in the U.S., though most tests available have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as of this week.

Public health officials, such as FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn, have said antibody testing is “one of the keys” to safely reopening state and city economies.  

“Further ramping up testing both diagnostic as well as the antibody test will really be necessary as we move beyond May and into the summer months and then into the fall,” Hahn said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday.