LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is looking to get its money back after buying some COVID-19 antibody tests to trial them only to find that none of the products worked reliably enough, a British health official said on Wednesday.

Health minister Matt Hancock last week that Britain wanted to buy 17.5 million antibody tests, subject to them working, but none of the test have proven fit for purpose.

Kathy Hall, director of COVID-19 testing strategy at Department for Health, said that Britain had to buy some of the tests, which are designed to see if someone has immunity to COVID-19 having been previously infected, in order to establish if they worked.

Asked if the tests were bought on a provisional basis, Hall told lawmakers: “We ordered the tests on the basis of the minimum volumes needed to get the samples so that we could test them.”

“Now we will be working with companies to cancel the orders and get our money back where possible,” she said.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout, editing by Estelle Shirbon)