There's a new development in the fight against the pandemic. A serological test for COVID-19 in Canada has been approved and it will be the first of its kind to be used here. This could help us understand immunity to the virus.

Health Canada authorized the country's first test to detect COVID-19 antibodies on May 12 after a priority scientific review.

This test is called the DiaSorin LIAISON.

With the approval of it, Canadian laboratories will use the DiaSorin LIAISON to detect antibodies that are specific to COVID-19 in hopes of learning more about immunity.

Serological tests help give a better understanding of whether people who have already had the virus are immune to it.

More research will also provide knowledge about the relationship between positive tests for antibodies and protection against re-infection.

At least one million blood samples from people in this country will be collected and tested over the next two years as part of the government's response to the pandemic.

All of that testing will be done under the leadership of Canada's COVID-19 Immunity Task Force which includes Dr. Theresa Tam.

This work will help track the virus among the general population and specific groups that are at higher risk of getting it like seniors and healthcare workers.

The task force was first announced by Justin Trudeau back on April 23 when he introduced the country's three-pillar plan to defeat the virus.

Those pillars are research on vaccines and other treatments, supports for clinical trials, and expanding national testing and modelling.

All of those measures equal to $1.1 billion of funding.

The task force will also look to figure out how many people here have been infected beyond those who were tested.

"Understanding the scope and scale of COVID-19 infections across the country is key to managing the epidemic over the coming months," Health Canada stated.

That will also help inform public health decisions.

So far, Health Canada has authorized 18 diagnostic testing devices for COVID-19 which include ones used to detect active infection.

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