Antibody Levels OK for Kids’ Vaccines, but Not for Previously Infected

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Antibody Levels OK for Kids’ Vaccines, but Not for Previously Infected

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Antibody Levels OK for Kids’ Vaccines, but Not for Previously Infected

In another chapter of “It’s OK for me, but not for thee,” Pfizer is using blood antibody levels as the test for COVID-19 immunity levels achieved by its mRNA jab for children. The only thorn is that in May 2021 the U.S. FDA said antibody tests “should not be used to evaluate a person’s level of immunity or protection from COVID-19 at any time, and especially after the person received a COVID-19 vaccination.”

“You should not interpret the results of your SARS-CoV-2 antibody test as an indication of a specific level of immunity or protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the FDA says on its website. The same holds true if you test antibodies after having had an actual COVID infection. “Be aware that a positive result from an antibody test does not mean you have a specific amount of immunity or protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the FDA says.

So, it seems natural to ask: How is it that Pfizer gets to ask for an emergency use authorization for its COVID shot for kids using antibody tests as a measure of its “success” in preventing disease?

The answer is Pfizer, by its own admission to NPR, is not looking to prevent disease at all. Instead, it only plans to study the antibodies in vaccinated children for the next two years to “determine how long protection lasts, whether any rare, long-term health issues arise, and whether a booster is needed.” Moderna is doing similar trials, NPR noted.

 

SOURCES:

U.S. FDA May 19, 2021

NPR August 18, 2021

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