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COVID-19 Q&A: Should I get an antibody test after receiving the vaccine?

Send us your questions about the COVID-19 vaccination process.
Send us your questions about the COVID-19 vaccination process.(KTUU)
Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 7:25 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska News Source is answering Alaskans’ questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Question:

“Should I get an antibody test a month after receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?”

Answer:

Alaska public health officials do not recommend routine antibody tests as a way to measure the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Dr. Liz Ohlsen with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services says while some antibody tests can be very detailed and accurate, others can be the opposite, making it challenging to predict what information you’ll learn from the test and whether you can rely on it.

“Whether you have antibodies or not, or they’re detectable, is not the only measure of protection,” she explained. “In fact, you know, the antibodies are sort of more on the short term memory end of things and what I would really like you to have is more of a long term immune system memory to these viruses. And you can’t see that with an antibody test, that has more to do with your T cells.”

For those reasons, the state’s public health team does not recommend routinely checking for antibodies after vaccination.

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