I would like to give some of you an opportunity to save some money. Patients have been requesting COVID antibody tests to help determine if they have had a COVID-19 infection and are now protected by natural occurring antibodies to the virus, or if they have or still have antibodies related to previous vaccination and are, therefore, immune to the virus. These tests have been ordered by physicians in our area as the result of patient requests, or out of concern for the immune status of their patient. There are even home test kits that patients may purchase to test themselves. One Florida based firm sells direct-to-consumer test kits, which promise to identify the number of neutralizing antibodies that patients may have all for the low price of $170.

What you need to know is that the protective antibodies and the levels needed to prevent disease have not been fully worked out, and cannot tell us if you are totally immune, partially immune, or at risk for serious disease. This applies to patients who have so-called “natural immunity” and those who have been vaccinated.

If and when correlations and levels of protection can be determined by examining antibody levels, tests will need to be calibrated and standardized as has been done with other vaccine-preventable diseases, such as tetanus, diphtheria, and measles.

Until these standardizations and calibrations can be done and each test is found to be valid, I would save your time, effort, and expense.