With a White House increasingly anxious to get the economy in gear and an approved vaccine for the novel coronavirus still months away at best, public health officials are hoping that tens of millions of Americans will have access to a simple blood test that can identify recovered patients who’ve developed some kind of immune response to the virus.
The idea behind the push is that people who have been exposed to the virus form antibodies in their bloodstream that may help them to fight off another infection. The hope is that the body’s antibodies against COVID-19 can diminish the chances of re-infection. Theoretically, those found to have immunized antibodies could then return to work and help reignite the economy.
Commercial labs are scrambling to develop and distribute serologic tests, as they are known, in large quantities — and the federal government is doing its best to expedite an approval process that is, under normal circumstances, lengthy and cumbersome.
Adm. Brett Giroir, tapped by President Donald Trump to lead testing efforts, said he is “very optimistic” that tens of millions of the tests will be available by May. And he says it could dramatically change what we know about the scope of infection inside the United States.
“That’s really important as we think about re-opening the country and the economy because if you’ve had the virus and you’ve had an immune response to it, in all probability you are immune and safe from the virus,” Giroir said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday.
Others on the White House coronavirus task force have put faith in antibodies as a way to reverse course in quick order. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, has said he is “willing to bet anything that people who recover are really protected against reinfection,” and Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House task force coordinator, said she has “called on every university and every state to develop [antibody test capabilities].”
Federal regulators say they won’t stand in the way
In March the FDA allowed developers of the antibody test to market their antibody tests without FDA review as long as certain conditions were met.
“The important thing is for the people who have this test — and I stress that some companies are developing them, and they’re also being found in academic centers — to work with the FDA so that this test can be done very rapidly,” Casadevall said.
Antibody tests available in Palm Beach County
The Medical Group of South Florida is proud to announce our order of the new rapid COVID-19 antibody tests arrived this morning. Testing will begin at our Jupiter location on April 10th, 2020.
The rapid diagnostic tests are seen as an essential element in detecting the disease, especially for those who have contracted the virus and overcome it. The results can be delivered in just 15 minutes!
To ensure we will have a test for you please call 561.622.6111 to schedule your appointment or book through our website here: https://mgsfl.com/book-an-appointment/