To say we are living in unprecedented times due to COVID-19 would be an understatement. The amount of information that comes out almost daily can be very confusing. Testing for antibodies that result from the virus has been in the news and has added to the confusion. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized and verified certain antibody tests, but now we are seeing many tests with questionable accuracy on the market. Before being tested, check with your provider to ensure the test you are receiving has been authorized by the FDA.
A positive antibody test indicates that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 at some time in the past. It may also mean that you have some immunity. But the World Health Organization cautions that there is a lack of evidence on whether having antibodies means you are protected against reinfection with COVID-19. The level of immunity and how long immunity lasts are not yet known.
Due to the unknowns of antibody testing, caution should be exercised in requesting this testing. It is recommended that you contact your in-network doctor or other health care professional to discuss your situation and whether he or she thinks you need a COVID-19 antibody test. Insurance coverage is only provided when a doctor orders your test.
The results of any antibody testing should not lull you into a false sense of security. Continuing to be diligent in measures to avoid infection, including frequent handwashing, social distancing, avoiding larger gatherings, etc., is the best course of action as we recover from this pandemic.
Interested in learning more about antibody testing? You may find this information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) helpful.
From the Medical Director, Compass Rose Benefits Group: Terry M. Flander, DO, MPH, MHA, FAAFP