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VERIFY: Will antibodies tell you if you're protected from COVID-19?

11Alive's Verify team went to the experts to bring you answers.

ATLANTA — Many questions and claims about antibodies are circulating online. If you have antibodies, with or without a vaccine, are you protected from catching the virus?

11Alive's Verify team went to the experts to bring you answers.

THE QUESTION

Will antibodies tell you if you're protected from COVID-19?

OUR SOURCES

THE ANSWER

More research is needed to know if having antibodies means you also have protection from COVID-19.

WHAT WE FOUND

Dr. Carlos Del Rio said there are different types of antibody blood tests. Some can test to see if you have been infected or not, others test to see if you developed antibodies after a vaccine.

"All the tests are very different," Dr. Del Rio said. "It's hard to compare one to the other. We don't know yet what the level of antibodies you need to protect yourself from one test or the other."

The tests tell you if you have antibodies, but Dr. Del Rio said, it does not tell you how protected you are from these antibodies.

"There could be a lot of misinformation, a lot of wrong decisions made based on the antibody test," he said. "In general, we don't recommend people get the antibody test."

He said the only time the test is recommended is if you are in the hospital and sick with COVID. Doctors can use this test to see if you are eligible for monoclonal antibody therapy.

"That's about the only reason where a medical decision is based on the antibody test," he said.

The level of unknown protection from antibodies also applies to those who are not vaccinated. The Food and Drug Administration said if you test positive for antibodies, you could have been infected before, but may not be protected now.

More research is needed to know if having antibodies also means you have protection from COVID-19.