COVID19: Misunderstanding of antibody tests after vaccination

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Many people will develop a lower number of antibodies after their COVID-19 vaccination, but this does not mean the vaccine does not work, said Dr Christos Petrou, Associate Professor at the University of Nicosia Pharmacy Program.

Petrou made the comments to CNA after reports that there are no antibodies detectable after vaccination.

Petrou said that there is a misunderstanding about antibody tests.

He said many of the antibody tests that are being carried out are not meant to measure the antibodies that are being developed after vaccination.

“I suspect that the tests that are carried out in some laboratories are, in fact, the antibody tests done following an infection and not the specific tests done after vaccination,” Petrou said.

Asked how long it takes for antibodies to develop after vaccination, Petrou said that some days are needed for the process, noting that not every person reacts the same.

He clarified other factors play a role in the body’s defence system, not just the antibodies.

After having both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, most people will be protected against the virus.

There is a small chance you might still get COVID-19 after vaccination. Even if you do get COVID-19, being vaccinated can reduce how serious your symptoms will be.

There is some new evidence to show that the vaccines may reduce spreading COVID-19 to other people, but more research is needed.

AstraZeneca

It takes 3 weeks after getting the first dose for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to start to work.

You should get your second dose 12 weeks after your first dose.

It takes 15 days after getting the second dose to have the best protection.

Moderna

It takes 14 days after getting the second dose for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to work.

You should get your second dose 4 weeks after your first dose.

Pfizer/BioNTech

It takes 7 days after the second dose for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to work.

You should get your second dose 3 to 4 weeks after your first dose.