OTTAWA, ON., May 13, 2020 — Today, following priority scientific review, Health Canada authorized the first COVID-19 serological test for use in Canada, the DiaSorin LIAISON®. Canadian laboratories will use the test to detect antibodies specific to COVID-19.
Understanding the scope and scale of COVID-19 infections across the country is key to managing the epidemic over the coming months,” said Health Canada in a statement. “This understanding will help inform public health decisions to protect the health of Canadians.”
Health Canada says that serological testing will contribute to a better understanding of whether people who have been infected by COVID-19 are immune to the virus.
“Further research will also help us fully understand the relationship between positive antibody tests and protection against re-infection,” says Health Canada.
Under the leadership of Canada’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, at least one million Canadian blood samples will be collected and tested over the next two years as we track the virus in the general population and in specific groups at greater risk of having been infected, including health care workers and the elderly.
To date, 18 COVID-19 diagnostic testing devices have been authorized in Canada. A list of all authorized testing devices is posted on Health Canada’s website. This list includes nucleic acid-based tests, which are used to diagnose an active infection.
Health Canada says they will continue to focus on the health and safety of Canadians while expediting supply of safe and effective health products related to COVID-19.