FACT FINDERS: How much protection do you have against COVID-19?
CDC: Antibody tests not best way to determine immunity to coronavirus
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Wondering how much protection you have against COVID-19?
There are antibody, or serology, tests that will tell you if your body mounted an immune response.
However, the Arizona Department of Health Services warns you not to use antibody testing to assess your immunity and not to use it to get another dose of the vaccine if your antibody level is low or negative.
The state said the CDC does not recommend this test for this purpose for a number of reasons. A few are these tests have different sensitivity levels, vary in how specific the results are and are not authorized to assess your immune response.
An expert at the University of Arizona said clearly it’s better to have antibodies than not. However, he said that’s largely all the test is good for right now. There’s much we still don’t know about this kind of testing.
”I think one of the things we don’t fully understand is exactly how many or how much antibody you need to confer protection and so I think that’s sort of the next frontier of things we’ve got to figure out,” said Deepta Bhattacharya, Immunobiology at the University of Arizona.
So, if an antibody test helps set your mind at ease or you are immunocompromised and aren’t sure if your body developed any antibodies, he says you can get an antibody test.
They are available at research institutes like the University of Arizona or commercial diagnostic companies.
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