MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Kroger is now offering rapid antibody tests at all local Kroger pharmacies.
“This is super easy. It is a finger prick, one drop of blood and it takes 15 minutes,” Lindsey Henson, who is the pharmacy leader at the Poplar Commons location in Memphis, said.
The test that costs $25.00 reveals if you’ve been previously infected with COVID-19.
If it comes back positive for antibodies, there are two possible results.
IGG antibodies in the bloodstream means there was an infection a few weeks ago.
IGM positive antibodies indicate a more recent infection and the person may still have an active COVID-19 infection.
Kroger just began offering the test Wednesday and already there has been quite a bit of interest.
“Well a large amount of patients are asymptomatic. They don’t have any symptoms, but maybe they were around someone who did have COVID, and they were asymptomatic, and they’re just curious if they have the antibodies,” Henson said.
Medical research is still being done to learn how often reinfection occurs after testing positive for COVID-19.
Dr. Amber Thacker is a hospitalist at Regional One.
Wednesday Thacker addressed the concern of COVID reinfection during Regional One’s “We Are One” virtual series.
“So far what we do know is those patients that recover from COVID maintain a relatively high amount of antibodies against the virus and their bloodstream for about three month,s and then after that time, it appears that they decline,” Thacker said.
Thacker says there is an assumption that former COVID-positive patients lose some immunity over time.
“We do know some patients do become reinfected and really as with many other common viruses, but this isn’t thought at this time to be a routine occurrence, but time will really tell,” Thacker explained.
However, if you’re curious about past exposures to the virus, a quick trip to your Kroger pharmacy can provide you those answers, but it’s not meant to allow patients to let their guard down.
“Well you still have to wear your mask. You still have to wash your hands. Those are the most important things,” Henson said.
Henson says they are not accepting insurance for these tests, but people can pay for the tests using health savings or flexible spending accounts.
To schedule an appointment for a rapid antibody test, click here: https://www.kroger.com/rx/guest/antibody