Update: Enrollment Closes This Week For COVID-19 Antibody Response Survey
By Joey Berlin

Texans between the ages of 5 and 80 can sign up to help The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) in its ongoing effort to improve science’s understanding of COVID-19 through the Texas Coronavirus Antibody Response Survey (Texas CARES). 

Enrollment closes at the end of this week. Between now and Friday, Sept. 17, UTHealth is looking to bolster the number of child and adolescent participants in the survey to maximize its diversity and sample size.

UTHealth is conducting the survey to increase knowledge of the human antibody response to the coronavirus, including how many participants have COVID-19 antibodies and how long they last. The center explained that it’s using two serology tests: one that looks for antibodies made in the blood in response to infection, and another that “will also be used to test for the presence of spike-protein antibodies, which are the antibodies arising from natural infection or vaccination against COVID-19. Serology results are especially important for detecting previous infections in people who had few or no symptoms.” (Antibody tests conducted as part of a study shouldn’t be confused with parents asking their child’s physician for an antibody test, which isn’t recommended as a means to evaluate a person’s level of immunity or protection from COVID-19 at any time.) 

The goals of the study include:  

  • Estimating how many people in Texas have been infected with the virus; 
  • Estimating how many people have been vaccinated and developed COVID-19 antibodies; 
  • Finding out how long antibodies last in someone’s system; 
  • Identifying the characteristics of people who develop antibodies; and 
  • Identifying the characteristics of people who never develop antibodies.  

Instructions for joining Texas CARES, including a consent form and initial survey, are posted on the project’s website. Test results and survey responses are protected under HIPAA and will not be shared with employers, professional organizations, or others, UTHealth says. For questions, email the Texas CARES team or call (713) 500-9441. 

The results of the survey’s ongoing work are updated weekly on the Texas CARES dashboard

Last Updated On

September 10, 2021

Originally Published On

August 31, 2021

Joey Berlin

Managing Editor

(512) 370-1393

Joey Berlin is managing editor of Texas Medicine. His previous work includes stints as a reporter and editor for various newspapers and publishing companies, and he’s covered everything from hard news to sports to workers’ compensation. Joey grew up in the Kansas City area. He lives in Austin.

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