TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Edward Thomson is calling for Gov. Phil Murphy to expand antibody testing in New Jersey as part of efforts to combat Covid-19 and safely reopen more of the state.
“Expanding our antibody testing can be a valuable part of our approach to defeating Covid and reopening our economy which has been devastated by pandemic-related restrictions,” said Thomson (R-Monmouth). “We need to consider any approaches that will help us get ahead of this virus and get back to some degree of normalcy.”
Recent research from Hackensack Meridian Health has shown that plasma from Covid survivors with high levels of antibodies is effective at blocking the virus and preventing more serious complications in infected individuals. The head researcher for the Hackensack study also said the use of antibody plasma could be a vital part of efforts to combat outbreaks of emerging variants.
“This promising research on antibodies is another reason we need to ramp our efforts to use antibody testing as part of our response to the pandemic,” added Thomson.
Antibodies are proteins that are used by the body’s immune system to attack foreign bodies, like viruses. Thomson noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the presence of antibodies for the virus could indicate some protection. According to the CDC, cases of Covid-19 reinfection are rare.
“While we continue our effort to vaccinate large swaths of the population, expanded antibody testing can be used to determine how many people have been infected and recovered so we can more precisely tailor our approach,” said Thomson. “I urge Governor Murphy to utilize every weapon in our arsenal, including antibody testing, as we take on this virus that sickened and taken so many of our fellow residents.”