More than a dozen coronavirus antibody tests are on the market, but it’s still unclear which are producing the most accurate results.
Public health experts have questioned the quality of antibody tests, which show whether or not someone has been exposed to or may have had the coronavirus and developed antibodies to fight the infection. The research suggested that of the 14 tests on the market, just three delivered accurate and reliable results, the New York Times reported. And some consumers want answers.
City of Miami police officer Anthony Reyes has blood drawn as he undergoes a COVID-19 antibody test at Hard Rock Stadium, during the new coronavirus pandemic, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
“There is just so much confusion in the marketplace right now. There are a lot of labs out there profiteering off of this with lousy tests just to make a quick buck. It really stinks for consumers trying to get some clarity,” Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of travel website The Points Guy told FOX Business Tuesday.
Kelly wrote in a blog post he took a Quest Diagnostics test and received a positive test result within 24 hours, but to be sure, he got a second test at a Long Island drive-up rapid testing facility where he says he spent $50. He says a nurse told him he did not have COVID-19 nor the antibodies. Now, he says he will try and find a Roche Diagnostics tests since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
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“Travel is a part of my business and everyone is going to have to make a personal risk assessment whether you want to travel again. The vaccine is not coming anytime soon. I figured if I had the antibodies at least I wasn’t spreading the virus and that would allow me to get back out on the road with a little more peace of mind,” Kelly told Fox Business’, Stuart Varney Tuesday.
Doctors say that a positive antibody test shows that a person may have some level of protection against getting the virus again, however, world health officials urge that it's still unclear. And the tests don’t come cheap — one on Quest Diagnostic’s website costs $119.
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Still, companies across the country are rushing to produce more and more antibody tests as the country slowly begins to reopen parts of the economy.
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Walgreens stores started offering antibody testing from LabCorp in April are hundreds of its testing facilities within its drugstores. And antibody tests have also been developed by companies such as U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N), Becton Dickinson (BDX.N) and Italy’s DiaSorin (DIAS.MI).