Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday said it’s possible that Americans could eventually carry around certificates of immunity to the coronavirus once proper testing is widespread enough.
“That’s possible,” Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“It’s one of those things that we talk about when we want to make sure that we know who the vulnerable people are and not,” he said. “This is something that’s being discussed. I think it might actually have some merit.”
Sen. Bill Cassidy, Louisiana Republican, has pitched the idea of an immunity registry to document people no longer believed to be at risk of infection.
Federal and state officials have said that antibody testing to try to determine whether someone had the coronavirus is one of the next major fronts in the battle against COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci said that within about a week, there will be a “rather large number” of tests that are available but that validating them is key.
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“Other countries have gotten burned by this,” he said. “They need to be validated. You need to make sure that they’re consistent and that they’re accurate.”
“It’s very likely that there are a large number of people out there that have been infected, have been asymptomatic, and did not know they were infected,” Dr. Fauci said. “If their antibody test is positive, one can formulate kind of strategies about whether or not they would be at risk or vulnerable to getting reinfected.”