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US may issue coronavirus immunity cards, Fauci says logo 4/10/2020 By Kevin Tampone,

The federal government may issue Americans certificates of immunity from the coronavirus at some point, Dr. Anthony Fauci said today on CNN.

"I mean, 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," said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "This is something that's being discussed. I think it might actually have some merit, under certain circumstances."

Fauci also spoke about the development of antibody testing to find out who has already had the virus and recovered. Fauci said it's likely there are large numbers of people in the country who've already been infected, gotten better and never even knew it.

Many could have been completely without symptoms, he said. Antibody tests will help determine who they are.

That information is critical when it comes to planning how to reopen businesses and restart the economy, Fauci added.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also said antibody testing and more rapid testing for the virus itself will be important to planning the easing of social distancing measures. People who have immunity from the virus from earlier infections and are no longer at risk of spreading it would be some of the first individuals who could return to work, he has said.

How does New York restart its economy? New testing a first step, Cuomo says

And while rapid coronavirus tests and antibody tests already exist, Cuomo has said they need to be scaled up to much higher levels of availability.

Antibodies are part of the body’s immune response and are produced in response to infections. The type of testing Cuomo and Fauci talked about would look for the the specific antibodies produced to fight the new coronavirus.

Over 7,000 New Yorkers have now died from coronavirus. The nationwide death toll is over 16,000.


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