Antigen tests are a method of detecting an active infection with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the illness COVID-19. These tests look for antigens, which are protein markers found on the outside of a SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The test is performed on a sample that is taken by swabbing inside your nose. The sample can be processed in a laboratory but is frequently analyzed on-site, often providing results within about 15 minutes.
• What age can we offer the service from?
We can perform the tests on children aged 2 and up, however a parent or guardian must
give consent for the test for anyone aged 16 or under.
• How much does the service cost?
An antigen test is €35, including issuing a travel certificate
conforming to EU standards.
• Why do we ask for identification in the form of a passport or driving licence?
• We have to confirm patient identities for a variety of reasons, but mainly to ensure that the person presenting for the test is the person who will ultimately be travelling on an airline or using the test result for work and it is valid.
• How long does the consultation take?
We aim to complete as much as we can off site and remote from the pharmacy. The whole appointment should be no longer than 5-10 mins.
• How are results communicated to the patient?
For all tests, the preferred method is via email to receive their travel certificate.
Paper copies of the consultation record form will only be used in exceptional circumstances
as they can be illicitly used and copied.
• How accurate are the tests?
Unfortunately, no test is 100% accurate. There can be false positives and negatives caused
by a variety of factors. Even the PCR test, considered the most accurate, is prone to false positive results. Our Antigen test is 96% accurate, and the Antigen test is 99% accurate.
• What is the value of us delivering the service to a patient?
Some patients will appreciate the peace of mind an antigen test will give them by letting them know they have successfully fought off an infection. It may help some continue to follow public health guidance when they learn they have no immunity built up to COVID (and we aren’t sure how much you get from antibodies in any case).
Patients travelling to visit relatives over holiday periods, or needing to travel for business or pleasure will benefit from the antigen test. Keeping pressure off the HSE testing service for asymptomatic patients will ensure availability of tests for those that really need them. Positive antigen tests at the moment will still mean that a patient will require a PCR test for diagnosis, and this would be done via the HSE