Can an antibody test be used as proof of vaccination?

Some may wonder why they would want to bother with a COVID antibody test at all. Many are more interested in knowing if they’re sick currently, not if they’ve had the coronavirus in the past.

What’s in a COVID-19 antibody test? Will your antibody test results show whether you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19?

Can a positive COVID antibody test prove vaccination status?

In short: no, unfortunately not.

The CDC no longer advocates the use of antibody COVID-19 tests for showing whether or not a round of vaccination has settled into the body successfully. It’s an attractive notion, but the risk of an inaccurate result supersedes this seemingly-simple solution.

According to many studies, antibody tests as they exist currently are unable to bind with the monoclonal antibodies introduced to the body after even a full round of vaccination. It’s a dangerous line to toe—when accuracy saves lives, few are willing to take a gamble on detection methods that don’t appear to work in all cases.

An antibody test is able to indicate whether seroconversion has occurred following a COVID-19 infection and the immunity from the virus that results therein. Vaccination triggers only antibodies specific to the target viral proteins that the vaccine was designed to interact with, a response that may disclude a few tell-tale indicators of a natural COVID-19 infection.

It’s not entirely clear how this patient state differs from that of a person who is immune through vaccination alone—we may never be able to tell the difference through these means, and few contest the fact that more research is needed before this becomes a viable way to prove vaccination status.

Is biological proof of vaccination possible?

Some experts aren’t so sure. It’s dangerous to rely on imperfect methods of virus detection, especially during times as precarious as ours.

Currently, the COVID-19 record system in place appears to be enough to prevent ne’er-do-wells from falsely claiming their own vaccination status. And, as always, one will always be able to supply a successfully-negative COVID-19 test if his or her status is called into dispute.

Covid Clinic can help with that. If you’re in need of COVID-19 testing nationwide, we’ve got your back.

Still have questions?

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