While Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci have stressed the importance of an antibody test to indicate who may be immune to the coronavirus, scientists are finding issues with the availability and reliability of such tests in the United States.
“In three words: Work in progress,” said Dr. David Relman, a member of the National Academy of Sciences committee.
- The FDA relaxed its rules, and now companies can sell tests without validation data that shows they work. The American Public Health Lab Association says that this has flooded the market with “crappy” tests. There is concern that some tests will confuse the novel coronavirus with coronaviruses that cause the common cold.
- Good tests are available in the midst of bad ones, but those are not yet easily and widely available throughout the country.
- It’s unclear whether having antibodies truly means you have immunity to Covid-19 and won’t get the disease again.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy have been briefed, but have not indicated how they will use the information given to them by the scientific community.
Chairman of the NAS committee seems to feel the White House is paying attention, saying, “They’re genuinely trying to widen their aperture for advice, and I think so far it’s working.”
See the details on this story at CNN.