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VACCINE Q&A: Will my blood test show COVID antibodies after vaccination?

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 7:43 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The NBC15 Vaccine Team is answering your questions about COVID-19 antibodies after vaccination. You can find a full list of NBC15 Vaccine Team Q&A’s HERE.

CLICK HERE to submit your own question.

QUESTION:

I received my 1st Moderna vaccine on 1/14/21 and my 2nd on 2/11/21. I donated blood on 3/12/21. They test for antibodies for Covid-19 but my results show I do not have the antibodies. How is that possible? Should I be concerned?

Sherry

ANSWER:

Dr. Matt Anderson, UW Health’s Senior Medical Director of Primary Care, said there is no cause for concern in Sherry’s circumstance.

He explained that all antibody tests are not the same. The test for someone who had COVID-19, derived from community spread or close contact, is different than the test given to a vaccinated person who has not had COVID-19.

“The antibody tests for somebody who has a natural infection looks at a specific part of the coronavirus. Whereas the vaccines target a different part of the coronavirus. So, it’s possible to be vaccinated and get one of the routine anti-body tests and have that be negative, because that’s looking for a different antibody against a different part of the virus,” said Dr. Anderson.

Dr. Anderson also said that antibody testing is not recommended or necessary after vaccination.

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