Covid 19: Antibody tests used to verify vaccination when details are lost, unrecorded
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Antibody tests are not part of the official public health response, but are used to check immunization status.
People are advised to have an antibody test to prove that they have been vaccinated, after their inoculation information has been lost or has not been recorded correctly.
Antibodies, or serologic tests, can signal that a person has received a vaccine by identifying peak antibodies.
He cannot tell if someone has received one or both doses.
The head of the Department of Health’s Covid-19 testing and supply group, Darryl Carpenter, said antibody testing was not part of the official public health response.
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As such, it doesn’t know which labs can perform antibody tests.
“We also don’t have data on how many people have been asked to have antibody tests to prove they are vaccinated,” Carpenter said.
“Antibody test results will not be accepted for a vaccine pass. “
However, some doctors would use the results of antibody tests to confirm that someone is vaccinated, confirming their contact details for the Covid-19 immunization registry.
Auckland labs charge around $ 150 for an antibody test, while in Hamilton it costs around $ 55.
Carpenter said general practitioners can order a serological test and noted that they are available at accredited labs.
He suggested that people whose contact details were lost or not registered were among those who had been granted a temporary exemption from the requirement to produce a My Vaccine Pass to enter certain locations.
Although antibody testing is not part of the public health response at this time, Carpenter said it could be introduced in the future.
“Antibody testing may become more common in the post-vaccination era as people seek to determine if they have protective antibodies,” he said.
“The wider use of testing technologies and new innovations is a key element of the new Covid-19 testing strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand. The strategy takes a risk-based approach to using the right test at the right time for the right group of people.
“The issue of antibody testing is being closely scrutinized as part of the broader New Zealand Reconnect work currently being undertaken across government. The ministry’s technical advisory group on Covid testing will examine the role of antibody testing in this program. “