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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Dept of Medical Sciences warns against antibody testing kits

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: The DMS warns against home antibody testing kits. (via Flickr Marco Verch)

The National Department of Medical Sciences is speaking out against a growing trend of people trying to self-test regarding Covid-19. They are warning people against using home antibody testing kits in order to test the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine after they have received their inoculations.

The Department warns that not only could test results be inaccurate, but a misunderstanding of the information provided in test results and how to interpret those results could lead to confusion and complication.

The director-general of the department explains that an antibody testing kit that you can buy right now in Thailand can test only general antibodies present. Even if this testing is accurate, it doesn’t actually give you a lot of information about a Covid-19 vaccine’s effectiveness. Not all antibodies fight the Coronavirus, only a specific type call a neutralising antibody is capable of effectively defending against a Covid-19 infection.

People who buy at-home antibody testing kits may not understand that the results that they are seeing don’t give any sort of accurate measurement about the level of neutralising antibodies specifically and therefore don’t give much insight into the efficacy of any particular Covid-19 vaccine.

The director-general warns that people shouldn’t attempt to use unapproved and possibly inaccurate antibody testing kits, and should at least make sure that what they’re using has been approved for use by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration. Even then, to get proper testing results and proper interpretation of those results, the test should only be done with the supervision of medical professionals trained to interpret the results.

Antibody testing kits are only one piece in a puzzle of how to measure vaccine effectiveness along with other test results and an analysis of any symptoms a patient may have. The DMS director-general reminds people that home testing is not necessary since the department has already implemented an immunity tracking system for people after they receive their Covid-19 vaccine.

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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