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Got the Vaccine? Is it Working?

It is a common question most people ask after they get a COVID-19 vaccine. Is it working? Now, you don’t have to wonder.

The COVID-19 Vaccine-Generated Antibody Test offered at Any Lab Test Now® can be used to determine if your body has produced antibodies after receiving a vaccine.

The test searches for antibodies against the spike protein, which normally will appear within two weeks after receiving your COVID-19 vaccine.  Before we get into the antibody test, let’s take a closer look at the vaccines designed to protect you from a COVID-19 infection.

Current COVID-19 Vaccines

Right now, there are three vaccines available in the United States. Medical experts will say that the best vaccine is the one that is available to you. They suggest you don’t delay getting vaccinated by waiting for a specific brand to become available.

Here is a look at the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized and recommended by the CDC.

Moderna – Anyone 18 years and older can get this mRNA vaccine. It is given in the muscle of the upper arm in a series of two shots set four weeks apart. Patients are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose.

Clinical trials suggest the Moderna vaccine is 94.1 percent effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who received two doses and who had no evidence of being previously infected.

Pfizer-BioNTech – This shot is also an mRNA vaccine and, as of May 2021, is now available to anyone 12 years and older. A medical professional injects the vaccine into the muscle of the upper arm. This vaccine is given in two doses with a three-week separation in between the first and second shot. Patients are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose.

In clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95 percent effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people without evidence of a previous infection.

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen – This single-dose vaccine is a viral vector type vaccine and is available for anyone 18 years and older. Like the other vaccines, it is given in the muscle of the upper arm, and patients are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the shot.

Women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots after vaccination.

In clinical trials, the J&J/Janssen vaccine was 66.3 percent effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who had no evidence of prior infection two weeks after receiving the vaccine.

Types of Vaccines

mRNA Vaccines – Called Messenger RNA vaccines, or mRNA for short, these are a new type of vaccine engineered to protect against infectious diseases. The mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that produces an immune response inside our bodies. The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is to gain protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are mRNA-type vaccines.

Viral Vector Vaccines

This type of vaccine uses a modified version of a different virus, referred to as the vector, to deliver important instructions to our cells. The benefit of viral vector vaccines is those who get vaccinated gain protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of contracting COVID-19.

The Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine is a viral vector type vaccine.

Facts about COVID-19 mRNA and Viral Vector Vaccines:

Neither mRNA nor viral vector vaccines use any part of the virus that causes COVID-19, so they cannot give you the virus or any other infection.

Neither vaccine affects nor interacts with your DNA. The mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it is finished using the instructions.

In the case of a viral vector vaccine, the genetic material delivered in the shot does not integrate into your DNA.

Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?

You should not get vaccinated if you have had a severe allergic reaction or an immediate allergic reaction to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or viral vector COVID-19 vaccine. Here is a link to a breakdown of the ingredients for each vaccine.

If you had an allergic reaction after getting the first dose of either of the mRNA vaccines, you should not get a second dose.

An allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must go to the hospital. An immediate allergic reaction means a reaction within four hours of getting vaccinated, including symptoms such as hives, swelling, or respiratory distress.

Possible Vaccine Side Effects

While not as serious as an allergic reaction, you could experience some side effects from the vaccines. These side effects usually start within a day or two of getting the vaccine and should subside in a few days. They include:

In the arm where the shot was administered:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

Now that you have a basic understanding of the vaccines and how they work, we can dive into figuring out how to determine if you’ve developed antibodies after having the vaccine administered.

The COVID-19 Vaccine-Generated Antibody Test

The CDC estimates that close to three million Americans are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 every day. Any Lab Test Now offers the COVID-19 Vaccine-Generated Antibody Test to help you find out if the vaccine created antibodies against the virus.

This test offers some peace of mind and reassurance that your immune system is having a positive reaction to the vaccine.

  • How do you take the test? It is a simple blood test; no fasting is necessary, and you share results with your primary care physician.
  • Who can take the test? Anyone who has no known exposure to COVID-19 and received the entire series or dosage of a government-approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • When can you take the test? Two to three weeks after the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • How much does the test cost? The cost of the test varies by location, but it’s around $120, which is not covered by insurance but can be paid for with healthcare spending accounts.
  • Where can you take the test? The COVID-19 Spike Protein test is available at select Any Lab Test Now locations across the United States. You can look up the location closest to you here.

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, including determining if you’ve developed antibodies from the COVID-19 vaccine.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 190+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus pandemic. We are here to help.

For more information about Any Lab Test Now, and the tests we offer, visit us at


National Health Education Week

National Health Education Week (Oct. 19–23)

What you need to know about COVID-19 Testing

Since 1995, National Health Education Week (NHEW) has been observed the third week in October. It is a week where we all come together to place focus upon and boost public awareness of a major health issue. So, it comes as no surprise that we, at Any Lab Test Now, have decided to focus on the major health issue that has caused confusion, heartache and changed the entire way we navigate our daily lives: COVID-19.

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a virus that is transmitted from person to person. Symptoms can range from mild to severe illness. You can be infected from respiratory droplets when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Other ways that you can be infected is by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it — and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Let’s walk you through the different types of tests available and explain some important details of each one.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

PCR tests look for viral genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the nose, throat, or other areas in the respiratory tract, to determine if you have an active infection. It can also help identify people who are contagious to others. It is considered the gold standard and has a nearly 100 percent accuracy rate.

There are three ways to collect a specimen for the PCR test; a long swab that goes to the back of your nasal passage, a short swab that goes into your nose, or a saliva sample in which you simply spit into a collection cup.

A positive PCR test means that you have an active COVID-19 infection. A negative PCR test means that person was probably not infected at the time their sample was collected. However, it doesn’t mean you won’t get sick — it only means that you didn’t have COVID-19 at the time of testing.

A PCR test does not help determine if you’ve had an undiagnosed COVID-19 infection in the past. If you think you were exposed to COVID-19, a PCR does not help determine if you will develop an active infection during the two weeks after exposure. In some people, the virus can only be found by PCR for a few days at the beginning of the infection, so the test might not find the virus if the swab is taken more than a few days after the illness starts.

Antigen Tests

Antigen tests look for pieces of proteins that make up the SARS-CoV-2 virus to determine if you have an active infection. Like the PCR test, a nasal swab or saliva test is needed. Test results are usually back within 15 minutes.

A positive antigen test means that you have an active COVID-19 infection. A negative antigen test means that SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins were not detected. It should be known that antigen tests are less sensitive than PCR tests, meaning there may be false negative results. Negative tests should be treated as presumptive. If there is still a concern of COVID-19 after a negative antigen test, then you should be tested again with a PCR test.

Antibody Tests

Antibody testing, also known as serology, looks for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in the blood to determine if there was either a recent or previous exposure to the infection. A positive antibody test means that you were infected with COVID-19 at some point, and your immune system developed antibodies to try to fight it off. A negative antibody test means that you may not have had COVID-19 in the past. However, you could still have a current infection, and the antibody test was collected too soon to give a positive result.

There are two ways a test can be conducted. The first is through blood taken from your vein. Results are typically back within two to four days. The second is a collection from a blood drop taken from your finger. This is called the rapid test, and the results are usually back in 15 minutes. Rapid test results are slightly less accurate than vein-drawn tests.

Antibody testing can also identify people who had an infection in the past, even if they had no symptoms of the illness. In some cases, it could help determine when COVID-19 illness occurred. It can also help determine if you qualify to donate convalescent plasma (a blood product that contains antibodies against COVID-19 and can be used as a COVID-19 treatment).

We do not know yet how long antibodies stay in your system and whether having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 can protect you from getting infected again. Until scientists get more information about whether antibodies protect against reinfection with this virus, you should continue to take steps to protect yourself and others, including staying at least 6 feet away from other people outside of their home (social distancing), even if they have had a positive antibody test.

Know Your Status

Any Lab Test Now encourages you to seek free testing in your community. But if that is not an option for you, we invite you to seek out the services of Any Lab Test Now. We strive to get you in and out of the facility within 15 minutes. You can pay for the test yourself, and the physician’s order is included. Knowing your status can bring you peace of mind.

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 185+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus outbreak. We are here to help.

What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Antibody Testing

More than 100 COVID-19 vaccines are in some stage of development, but most experts project it will be 2021 before a vaccine is ready to roll out to the public. As the coronavirus rages on, researchers are also focusing their attention on understanding who has had the virus, to help manage the spread and better prepare communities as economies reopen. A key component to that is COVID-19 antibody testing, also called a serology test.

The antibody test — a simple blood draw — does not diagnose active coronavirus infections, but it does let a person know if they have been infected with the virus in the past. Even people who never had symptoms could have had the coronavirus. The serology test shows that by detecting the antibodies, or specific proteins, the body makes in response to the virus when it enters the body. If the test does find those proteins in the blood, it could mean that person has some level of immunity to the virus in the future. Although the CDC does not know conclusively if the antibodies will prevent a person from getting reinfected, antibodies, by nature, are the body’s immune response to an infection. That scientific fact, along with a desire to know how the pandemic is impacting the population — and what groups might be more or less vulnerable — has led to widespread antibody testing by everyone from state and local governments to employers and individuals.

Any Lab Test Now is providing the COVID-19 antibody test by appointment in-clinic or on-site at a workplace when contracted by an employer. Three different antibody tests are offered: IgG, IgG/IgM, and IgG/IgM/IgA.

Let’s break down what all those letters mean.

IgG Antibody Test:

This test detects IgG antibodies that develop in most patients within seven to 10 days after symptoms of COVID-19 begin. IgG antibodies remain in the blood after an infection has passed. These antibodies indicate that you may have had COVID-19 in the recent past and have developed antibodies that may protect you from future infection. It is unknown at this point how much protection antibodies might provide against re-infection.

IgM Antibody Test:

This test detects IgM antibodies. IgM is usually the first antibody produced by the immune system when a virus attacks. A positive IgM test indicates that you may have been infected and that your immune system has started responding to the virus. When IgM is detected you may still be infected, or you may have recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection.

ALTN offers a combination test for the IgM and IgG COVID antibodies, which provides the status of both recent/current infection and past viral exposure.

IgA Antibody Test:

IgA antibodies are primarily found in high concentrations in the mucous membranes. IgA provides protection against infection in mucosal areas of the body such as the respiratory tract (sinus and lungs) and the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines). The IgA antibody can also be detected if you have active or recent exposure to the virus, as is seen with the IgM antibody.

People should be asymptomatic for at least seven days prior to taking an antibody test, and it will take one to three days to get results back. The cost may be covered by your insurance plan or the government, so check with your healthcare provider.


A positive test result indicates it is likely you have had COVID-19 and may have developed an immune response to the virus.

A negative test result means no antibodies to the virus were found in the blood and you did not have COVID-19, Although it is possible, if there is an active infection, the body has not had time to produce antibodies yet.

False positives (specificity) and false negatives (sensitivity) are possible with the tests, but rapid advancements have allowed us to offer lab tests that are 99-100 percent accurate.

Any Lab Test Now only works with labs whose tests have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA, and are CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) certified, and CAP (College of American Pathologists) accredited. These criteria ensure that test results meet and exceed industry standards for clinical laboratory testing.

In this uncertain time, when there are many more questions than answers, Any Lab Test Now wants to put you at ease and provide you all the tools you need to manage your healthcare. We are here to help.