COVID Antibody FAQs
WHAT IS THE COVID-19 ANTIBODY TEST?
The COVID-19 Antibody test is a lab test performed on blood that may determine if an individual
has produced an antibody to the COVID-19 virus (also called SARS-CoV-2 virus).
HOW AND WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULT?
Your result will be mailed to you within a week of your blood draw. There will be two disclaimers at
the bottom of your lab report that are mandatory per the FDA, since this antibody test was released
as “emergency use authorization” and has not yet received formal FDA approval.
WHAT IS AN ANTIBODY?
An antibody is a tiny blood protein that our bodies produce to help fight disease-causing viruses,
bacteria, or fungi. We all have millions of antibodies in our blood that have been made since you
were born. Antibodies give you immunity to these “germs” that can cause infections.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE THE COVID-19 ANTIBODY TEST?
Learning if you have COVID-19 antibodies will let you know if you have been exposed to COVID-19
and if you developed an immune response. This immunity may protect you from COVID-19 re-
infection and make you eligible to donate your plasma to critically ill COVID-19 patients. The
preliminary testing performed in our region shows that the test is very accurate in identifying
small amounts of COVID-19 antibody. However, not all individuals who have been exposed to
COVID-19 produce antibodies. Even patients with mild respiratory symptoms who tested positive
for COVID-19 virus may not produce much antibody.
DOES THE ANTIBODY TEST TELL ME IF I HAVE COVID-19 VIRUS?
No. Research suggests that the COVID-19 antibody develops approximately two weeks after the
virus is first detectable in your nasopharynx swab test. So, there is a chance you are positive for live
virus AND positive for COVID-19 antibodies. If you have developed respiratory symptoms since the
phone questionnaire or have had physical contact with a known positive virus individual, please
seek advice from your primary care physician to determine if you need PCR COVID-19 virus testing.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF I HAVE A POSITIVE RESULT?
The answer to question 4 describes the benefits of knowing the positive result. Early local studies
by MCH and Ector County suggest that a positive result strongly indicates you were exposed to
COVID-19, because the other SARS viruses have not been prevalent in this region.
MCHS employees/providers must report a positive test result to Employee Health & Wellness
and contact their PCP. A positive test result will require the employee/provider to submit to a
COVID-19 PCR test.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF I HAVE A NEGATIVE RESULT?
The negative result means you have not made a measurable amount of COVID-19 antibody in your
blood. Either you have never been exposed to the virus OR you may have been exposed/sick but
your body did not mount a measurable immune response. Negative patients may get the virus and
cannot donate their plasma.
IF YOU HAVE POSITIVE ANTIBODY AND WOULD LIKE TO DONATE YOUR PLASMA,
PLEASE VISIT HTTPS://WWW.VITALANT.ORG/COVIDFREE.