TAMPA, Fla. - Two hundred thousand FDA-approved COVID-19 antibody tests are making their way to Florida; initially going to healthcare workers and first responders at Miami Garden's Hard Rock Stadium.
Governor Ron DeSantis said this is a crucial step forward during the pandemic as Florida slowly begins reopening.
Medical experts agree, but said a lot more research needs to be done to figure out the long-term benefits of having COVID-19 antibodies.
The World Health Organization says there is no evidence showing antibodies prevent being infected for a second time.
“I think we will learn as we go, so we will learn kind of short term what we know, and then as time goes on we’ll have more of that long term feedback," said Dr. Marissa Levine, a professor of public health and family medicine at the University of South Florida. "It’s a very dynamic process that’s what we’ve been saying all along."
There's a public perception that having COVID-19 antibodies means you're immune to the virus, but Dr. Levine says that's not the case. More questions need to be answered.
"Once we can identify all of the aspects of [antibody testing], that will give us a much better picture of how widespread our protection could be in our communities," Levine explained.
State leaders have not said when they will expand testing state-wide, but their goal is to add a lane for antibody testing at state-run drive-thru sites.
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