Participants in the PIENTER Corona Study collect a fingerprick blood sample. These blood samples are tested for S-antibodies against the coronavirus. These antibodies could have been generated after a vaccination and/or a previous infection.
What do the results mean?
Antibodies are present
Antibodies help to prevent illness when a person has been in contact with the virus. There is still a chance that someone who does have antibodies will be infected if they are exposed to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, but they are less likely to become seriously ill from the infection.
Antibodies are not present
Some people do not generate any antibodies after vaccination or infection, or only generate very low levels of antibodies. When that is the case, we cannot measure the antibodies. After an infection or vaccination, it can take 21 days before measurable levels of antibodies are present in the blood. If the blood sample was taken less than 21 days after infection or vaccination, the level of antibodies may still be too low to measure.
If antibodies were detected previously, but are no longer showing up on the test, then the antibody levels have dropped and can no longer be measured. If that happened, it is likely that the body has developed immunity to the virus. This immunity can help the body to clear the virus more quickly in the event of an exposure. However, the possibility of a new coronavirus infection cannot be excluded.
No test result
Sometimes the blood sample cannot be tested because it is not suitable for use. In such cases, the fingerprick blood sample may not have been successful, or there may not have been enough blood in the collection tube for testing purposes.