My Patients Ask — After the COVID vaccine should I get an antibody test to learn if I’m protected?

According to ConsumerLab.com, “Despite the possibility of reduced immune response in people who are immunocompromised, antibody testing to assess for immunity following COVID vaccination is not recommended for anyone.”

There are several reasons for this recommendation:

  1. It has not been determined what antibody levels, if any, correlate with protection;
  2. not all antibody tests will detect immune response resulting from vaccination (tests that focus on antibodies to the viral nucleocapsid but not the spike protein of the virus will detect immune response resulting from infection but not from vaccination;
  3. many antibody tests for COVID-19 do not quantify the amount of antibodies but only indicate if they are detectable;
  4. antibody testing does not measure cellular immune response, which is also thought to affect vaccine-mediated immunity; and
  5. the cost of antibody testing (about $50 to $130) may not be covered by insurance and/or may require a referral from your doctor

CDC, Interim Clinical Considerations 2021


This blog was accurate as of the day of posting. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves and the scientific community’s understanding of the novel coronavirus and the COVID vaccine develops, the information above may have changed since it was last updated. While I aim to keep all of my blogs on COVID and the COVID vaccine up to date, please visit online resources provided by the CDC, WHO, and your local public health department to stay informed on the latest news.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

 

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