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Letters to the Editor: Antibody tests can help determine who gets the first COVID vaccines

A motorist undergoes a coronavirus antibody test in North Hollywood.
(Kit Karzen)

To the editor: Let’s do something right by doing antibody tests before administering COVID-19 vaccines to residents and employees of long-term care facilities and to healthcare workers. (“Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton would get vaccine publicly to boost confidence,” Dec. 3).

Vaccine availability will be limited in the near future, so first we should vaccinate people who don’t have evidence for immunity to the coronavirus, thereby reserving the precious resource for those most likely to benefit from it.

The technology for coronavirus point-of-care antibody testing, with results available in 15 minutes, exists; let’s use it to help target vaccination efforts. A positive test would indicate no vaccine at this time as immunity is present; test negative, and vaccination is indicated.

Since March, the U.S. response to COVID-19 has been notable for misinformation and missteps, leading to our current quandary with skyrocketing infections rates, hospitalizations and deaths. Targeting the immunization campaign rationally would be a first step in healing the wounds.

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Mark J. Tracy, M.D., Carlsbad


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