Fauci: Coronavirus antibody tests coming, immunity certificates “being discussed”

Dr. Anthony Fauci indicated earlier today that it’s possible Americans could carry a coronavirus certificate of immunity.

Asked on CNN’s New Day if he saw Covid-19 immunity certificates as a possibility, Fauci responded “You know, that’s possible. It’s one of those things that we talk about when we want to make sure that we know who the vulnerable people are and not — this is something that’s being discussed. I think it might actually have some merit under certain circumstances”

Yahoo reports Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday that U.S. health officials were preparing to roll out blood tests approved by the Food and Drug Administration that will identify Americans who have been exposed to the coronavirus and may harbor immunity. With that data, he said, the government could in theory issue certificates of immunity to help hasten the reopening of normal life.

Fauci, the leading expert on infectious diseases on President Trump’s coronavirus task force, said in an interview with CNN that a “large number” of antibody tests approved last week by the FDA would be available “within a period of a week.”

Unlike the swab tests used to diagnose whether a person is currently infected, antibody tests reveal the presence of immune proteins in the blood signifying a past infection — even one that caused no symptoms — that can protect against the disease in the future. They can also be harvested as a treatment for patients suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. But many questions remain unanswered about the degree and longevity of coronavirus immunity.

“As we get to the point of at least considering ‘opening up the country,’ as it were, it’s very important to appreciate and to understand how much that virus has penetrated the society, because it’s very likely that there are a large number of people out there that have been infected, have been asymptomatic and did not know they were infected,” Fauci told CNN. “If their antibody test is positive, one can formulate strategies about whether or not they would be at risk or vulnerable to getting reinfected. This will be important for health care workers, for first-line fighters, those kinds of people.”