Covid Antibody Screening & Presence After the Vaccine
For just about a year, Covid-19 has been the lead story on the news, every single day. At a time when so much is happening, this virus has affected everyone. It has, for all intents and purposes, changed the world.
In the past few months, pharmaceutical companies have introduced their vaccines in the U.S., and states have begun to vaccinate the public. While not always a smooth process, progress is being made. That said, this is all new to us. As such, people are constantly looking for reassurance.
Many of those who have been fully vaccinated are looking for increased confirmation that they are, indeed, safe.
I Have Been Vaccinated. Do I Have Antibodies?
The information we have received over the past year is constantly changing. As scientists continue to study the disease, they learn more and more about it. And, they share their information with the public in hopes that we will use what we hear to make smart choices and stay safe.
That said, medical and scientific terms, words we would probably never use, have become commonplace in our daily conversations. And, the language can be confusing. One of the more complicated terms widely heard is “antibodies”. According to the FDA, “Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to fight infections like viruses and may help to ward off future occurrences by those same infections. Antibodies can take days or weeks to develop in the body following exposure to a SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection and it is unknown how long they stay in the blood.”
Many people who have had the vaccine are wondering if they now have antibodies.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has responded to this question by sharing the following. “The COVID-19 vaccine, like other vaccines, works by training our bodies to develop antibodies to fight against the virus that causes COVID-19, to prevent future illness.”
Should I Get an Antibody Test
If you believe you have been exposed to Covid and recovered, a test can determine if you have Covid-19 antibodies, which MAY help protect you in the future. That said, antibodies take time to develop after infection, often after two to three weeks before they would be detectable.
However, if you have been fully vaccinated (received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine) experts are NOT recommending that you go for an antibody test.
In fact, the CEO of LabCorp, Adam Schechter, “urged Americans to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and told CNBC that recipients are not being advised to be tested for Covid antibodies afterward.”
He shared that the scientists still have a lot to learn about what should be measured and how it should be measured concerning antibody production and the vaccine. Until the experts have more information, post-vaccine antibody tests are not being recommended.
Instead, physicians and health organizations, like the CDC, are recommending that those who have been vaccinated continue to behave cautiously, wearing masks and maintaining social distance when possible. While the vaccines are effective at preventing Covid, they have not been proven to prevent transmission. Thus, those who have been vaccinated may still be able to transmit the illness to others.
Get Vaccinated. Stay Safe.
As more people get vaccinated, we all become safer. And, experts are encouraging everyone who can get the vaccine to do so as soon as their state allows.
Until the virus is under control, we are all responsible for taking precautions to stay safe and, if infected, following CDC guidelines to prevent future spread. As we do this, the medical research community will continue to develop tests appropriate for those who have been vaccinated.