Covid is confusing. The pandemic has been going on for over a year, and we still have more questions than answers.
With the Delta Variant spreading quickly, an interesting new question has emerged.
Should we get antibody tests?
Antibody tests are easy to find all over Los Angeles.
Is it a good idea to get one to see how protected you are from Covid?
Dr. Fauci has no interest in taking an antibody test. He is content to assume his vaccination worked. He also assumes that protection will eventually fade, and he will need a booster shot.
“You don’t want to assume that you’re going to have indefinite durability of protection.”-Dr. Fauci
Signs To Look For
If an antibody test isn’t the best way to know your immunity is waning, what is?
Dr. Fauci suggests looking out for two things.
The first thing is a rise in the rates of breakthrough infections in vaccine trial participants. The people who got their vaccines first should show signs of the protection waning first.
The second thing would be convincing lab data that tells us when and how our vaccine protection is waning.
Those two things have something in common, Los Angeles residents don’t need to worry about them. Health care professionals will tell us that information. We don’t need to do anything.
What Are Antibody Tests Good For?
Antibody tests aren’t completely useless.
According to Dr. Fauci, they are “easy and convenient.”
Just don’t let them give you a false sense of security. The FDA advises against antibody tests for that reason.
How Long Does Vaccine Protection Last?
How long vaccine protection lasts is probably the most common Covid-related question people have right now.
As of now, we don’t know for sure whether or not we will need booster shots. It looks likely that vaccine protection will eventually wane. However, their protection seems to be relatively long-lasting.
A recent study showed that both Pfizer and Moderna produce a “persistent” immune response. That is a sign of long-lasting protection.
New variants, including Delta, are one of the biggest worries we have. Thankfully our vaccines have held up against variants so far.
Against the Delta Variant specifically, both Pfizer and Moderna have proved effective.
Real-world U.K. data showed the Pfizer vaccine to be 88% effective against the Delta Variant. That is only slightly lower than the 95% efficacy shown in clinical trials.
What about the J&J vaccine?
Unfortunately, the jury is still out on that one. We are not sure how well it holds up against the Delta Variant yet. However, it has held up well against all other known variants.
These are scary times. The news sometimes makes it feel even scarier.
If getting an antibody test makes you feel better, go for it. But, it’s not necessary.
There are still many unknowns when it comes to Covid. But, here are a few things we do know.
We have long-lasting vaccines, and those vaccines have held up well against variants so far.
Regardless of what comes next, Los Angeles is way better off than we were this time last year.
That’s something worth celebrating.
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