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Antibody test baseline to identify vaccine response

Dr Haya Altawala

KUWAIT: Virologist, associate professor at the College of Medicine and head of the virus lab unit at the health ministry’s Yaqoub Behbehani Center Dr Haya Altawala said the antibody test is considered as a baseline for an individual to find out whether their body responded to the vaccine or not.

She said although antibodies are not the only factor that help in immunity, it is a measurable factor, because other factors are difficult to measure since they are at the research level. Altawala said if a person’s result is negative before vaccination, then becomes positive after vaccination, it means that their body responded to the jab. “We then check if we have reached a certain number, which means the person has immunity, bearing in mind that this number varies from one person to another,” she said.

Altawala said diagnostic tests instantly determine whether a person has COVID-19 or not, but the antibody test gives the result after a time period, and this is an indication that the person had COVID-19 recently. She said the coronavirus vaccine is safe and does not cause any dangerous symptoms, and what some people feel is the result of the body’s response to vaccination. She added the vaccine is part of the virus and not the virus itself, and cannot cause COVID-19.

Altawala said the role of antibodies becomes very important under the current circumstances following the emergence of virus variants, because they give an idea about the patient’s current condition. She said the vaccination does not permit anyone to abandon precautionary measures. She said test equipment available in Kuwait is highly advanced, adding that antibody tests will be implemented at the health ministry soon.


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