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How Many Pennsylvanians Have COVID-19 Antibodies?

July 05, 2023

Nearly all Pennsylvanians had COVID-19 antibodies through vaccination or a previous infection through last year, according to a new nationwide study.

The CDC recently released the results of its 2022 COVID-19 antibody study of more than 143,000 blood donors. The study reviewed data from October 2022 through December 2022. It measured the population’s COVID-19 seroprevalence, or the number of Americans with antibodies against the virus due to infection or vaccination.

Public health officials cautioned that more research is needed to understand the degree COVID-19 antibodies correlate with protection against the virus.

“Current protection (is) likely influenced by both cumulative number of vaccine doses, number of times infected, and timing of most recent vaccination or infection, and how closely the circulating variant matches the vaccine or prior infection,” CDC advisors noted during a meeting last month.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • In Pennsylvania:  More than 98 percent of Pennsylvanians had infection or vaccination-induced antibodies for the virus that causes COVID-19 late last year.
    • Over 82 percent of people 16 and older had at least one COVID-19 shot.
    • 79 percent had infection-induced seroprevalence.
  • Nationwide:  Across the country, 96.7 percent of the population had infection or vaccination-induced antibodies.
  • Previous infections:  Nearly 78 percent of Americans had antibodies due to a previous COVID-19 infection through last year.
  • By age group:  People 65 and older had the lowest rate for infection-induced antibodies (56.5%). People 16 through 29 had the highest rate for infection-induced antibodies (87.1%).
  • What it means:  “A positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody test does not necessarily mean you are immune or have immunity that will prevent COVID-19,” the FDA notes. “More research is needed to understand what SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results can tell us.”

HAP encourages all Pennsylvanians to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. Learn more about appointments available in your community.

The final CDC study on seroprevalence is available to review online.