On April 6, members of the National Academy of Sciences’ Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats phoned the members of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. On the phone call, they said that the corona virus antibodies tests are not entirely available and reliable in the United States at the moment. They further explained to the members of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy that there may be issues with their availability and reliability.
This was after President Trump had said that good progress had been made with the antibodies tests on April 5, he even added that fantastic progress had been made. Moreover, five days later, Vice President Mike Pence told a media that “Very soon we will have an antibody test that Americans will be able to take to determine whether they ever had the corona virus.”
However, the phone call on April 6 shocked everyone in the United States and it has brought distress to some. Many have hoped that with these tests, a reliable medication could be formed. However, that hope has now been crushed, and we don’t know what will happen next. Will the antibodies tests be made reliable later on? Will a reliable cure ever be made? Will this outbreak ever be contained, and when is the end of it?
The Reason For The Unreliability of Corona Virus Antibodies Tests
CNN reported that The United States National Food and Drug Administration, FDA lightened its rules which led to companies being able to sell corona virus antibodies tests without showing proof that these tests are reliable. Due to this, bad tests are being sold in the market as said by the Association of Public Health Laboratories, and half of the companies that manufacture the corona virus anitibodies tests are in China.
In a conference call on Tuesday, FDA Commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn had said that the National Cancer Institute would take antibodies tests through scientific study, and this was reported by Scott Becker, the Association CEO who was the one in the conference call with him.
The Concern of What The Unreliability Could Mean
Americans are worried that among these tests, some may be confused with another corona virus that also causes colds, hence the tests for covid-19 can be confused for the common cold and vice versa. This is especially since the two tests are usually confused.
According to TheGuardian on April 5, Boris Johnson had said that antibody home test kits could be a game-changer. However, the scientist has said that the tests are not entirely reliable as stated earlier in this piece.
Additionally, it has not been confirmed that possessing antibodies to covid-19 will mean that you can’t contact the disease. TheDailymail also reported that doctors are also not sure that the antibodies to covid-19 could give immunity and if it could, how long will the immunity be active. Among their animal tests and assessments, they found out that reinfection could be stopped by antibodies for two weeks or more.