WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – As more Floridians get vaccinated for COVID-19, the big question is how long will that protection last?
Both CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna said booster shots may be necessary as soon as the fall. It could be needed some time between eight to 12 months after the second dose.
A Winter Garden lab is now offering an antibody test that can determine how protected you are from COVID-19.
FourthWall Testing is trying to figure out how the COVID-19 vaccine provides protection.
Lisa Wilson with FourthWall Testing said the lab is using the only FDA Emergency Use Authorization test on the market to test the level of COVID-19 blocking antibodies in a blood sample.
“It’s kind of like shooting darts at a dartboard blindfolded. Our test is different from other antibody tests out there because we only measure the antibodies that hit the bullseye of the dartboard which is the antibodies that actually fight the spike protein and neutralize that spike protein to cause it to not infect your human cells,” Wilson said.
Wilson said because the vaccines are so new, no one knows how long the protection lasts or when you’ll need a booster.
“So this test is a way you can advocate for yourself to find out what your specific body and your immune response has had to the vaccine,” she said.
Each at-home kit costs $170 and is not covered by insurance. You provide a blood sample, ship it back to the lab in Winter Garden, and you will get your results in a couple of days with your COVID-19 blocking antibody levels.
Dr. Marvin Hausman is the lab’s medical advisor. He said they’re already seeing some people’s immune response drop a few months after vaccination.
“I just had Moderna in February and we’re into May and I can tell you that my neutralizing or blocking antibodies are going down,” Hausman said.
It’s unclear how often someone should test for their blocking antibodies. Hausman said this can be a tool that can bring you peace of mind.
“Life is an experiment of one. You have to take care of yourself. You have to be your own advocate,” Hausman said.
Wilson adds the test can help people have a better understanding of their own immune response and help them stay protected.
“Everyone will be different. To say six months, some may need that six months booster. Some may go 18 months,” Wilson said. “We just don’t know. We’re still so early in all of this that it is very necessary to have your own advocacy for yourself.”
Click here to learn more information about COVID-19 blocking antibody test offered by FourthWall Testing.