The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday announced guidelines for self-paid COVID-19 antibody tests, which were previously not open to the public.
CECC experts reached a consensus on the guidelines at a meeting on Wednesday, which was held following a controversy over an Internet celebrity receiving an antibody test at a clinic in Taipei.
According to the new guidelines, members of the public can visit medical facilities for antibody testing, but the facilities would have to apply in advance with local health authorities, said Centers for Disease Control Deputy (CDC) Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), who is deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division.
Photo courtesy of the Central Epidemic Command Center
Before administering the tests, doctors would have to evaluate the test subject’s health, he said.
Should the person have any typical COVID-19 symptoms, the doctor should instead administer a polymerase chain reaction test, he said.
Only testing equipment approved by the Food and Drug Administration should be used, and facilities should file a report after each test including the testing method and result, and whether it tested for antigens or antibodies, he said.
Lo urged facilities to charge reasonable prices for the tests.
In other news, Lee Ping-ing (李秉穎), a pediatrician at National Taiwan University Hospital, yesterday on Facebook urged people to participate in a post-vaccination antibody testing study.
People aged 20 or older who had received one COVID-19 vaccine dose and are to receive their second dose could participate in the CDC-commissioned study into the change in people’s antibody levels, Lee said.
The study would put people into categories according to COVID-19 vaccine brands, he said.
People who are to have two shots of the AstraZeneca, Medigen or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could participate, as well as those who were first inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, to be followed by a second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, and those who had a first dose of the Medigen vaccine, to be followed by the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, he said.
Each category needs more than 200 participants, and there are still vacancies for the combinations Medigen-Medigen, Medigen-BioNtech, AstraZeneca-Moderna, AstraZeneca-BioNtech, he added.
Blood tests would be conducted before and after the second dose, as well as six, 12 and 18 months later, he said.
Additional reporting by Yang Hsin-hui
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