Antibody testing should not be used to determine if a vaccinated person has already developed enough protection against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of Health (DOH) said.
“Yung antibody test na sinasagawa sa inyo, ang pinapakita niyan primarily would be yung antibodies nyo (The antibody test, it shows primarily your antibodies) because you had an infection, but it is not going to give you an accurate level of antibody because you were vaccinated. So huwag niyong sayangin yung inyong resources para dito sa pagpapatest ng antibody (So don’t waste your resources on antibody testing),” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
“Sinabi na ng ating mga eksperto hanggang sa ngayon wala pang validated test to measure the correlates of protection para dito sa antibodies na ito at pagbabakuna (Our experts have said that so far, there has been no validated test to measure the correlates of protection for antibodies and vaccination),” she added.
The Health official assured that all available COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines can provide the necessary protection against the viral illness.
“Real world studies are out already, pinapakitang meron pong proteksyon na binibigay ang mga bakunang meron tayo sa ngayon at hindi na natin kailangan magpatest nitong antibody (showing that vaccines we have now provide protection and we no longer need to test this antibody),” said Vergeire.
The Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (PSSAI) also “does not recommend antibody testing after COVID-19 vaccination to evaluate the level of protection” against the respiratory illness.
“The antibody tests that are presently available have not been evaluated and validated to assess the level of protection afforded by the immune response after COVID-19 vaccination,” the PSAAI said in its position paper.
“Inaccurately interpreted antibody test results after COVID-19 vaccination may create a false sense of protection, making people more complacent with lesser observation of health care protocols,” it added.