Vt. health officials not 'convinced' by antibody testing trials

Published: Apr. 7, 2020 at 2:00 AM EDT
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Researchers around the country are using antibody testing to get a greater understanding of the coronavirus in order to better treat patients, but don't expect to see that happening in Vermont anytime soon.

Last week, the FDA approved the first test that would aim to figure out how many people have been exposed to and built up immunity to COVID-19, and for how long that protection lasts.

When asked if Vermont would start doing those tests, Vt. Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said their main focus right now is still on testing to identify positive cases.

"We believe the antibody testing will come in at some later phase," Levine said. "I'm not 100 percent convinced of its sensitivity right now, so it would not be as good of a tool as what we're using currently for current cases."

Levine also addressed the trials currently underway in other parts of the country to see if plasma infusions from patients who have already had the virus and built up immunity could help patients who are critically ill.

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