Free COVID-19 antibodies testing event to take place in Woodhaven

close up of hands in blue gloves handling antibody test tubes after virus analysis with result markers in a medical lab
Photo via Getty Images

With COVID-19 still a threat, state Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. is once again partnering with Valhalla Medics to bring a free testing event to Woodhaven later this month.

This event comes after two successful COVID-19 antibody testing events near the Rockaways earlier in the year.

The event will take place on Friday, Sept. 24, outside of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District’s (BID) office, located at 89-07 Jamaica Ave., from noon to 2 p.m.

“These events have become incredibly popular since I started partnering with Valhalla Medics to bring the free testing to the communities,” Addabbo said. “We had over 100 people come out to test their COVID antibodies back in July. It’s important to get the antibody testing done so you can make sure that your COVID vaccine is providing your body with the protection it needs to fight off the virus or that an individual has the antibodies to further protect themselves from the pandemic.”

The vaccination rates vary across Queens, ranging from about 46.5 percent in Far Rockaway to more than 99 percent in Jamaica.

The test that will be administered is a rapid IgG/IgM antibody test, which is just a painless finger prick to draw a small bead of blood used for processing. After about a 10-minute wait, patients are given a form with a write-up of their results signed by the technician who performed the test. These IgG/IgM tests can detect and differentiate between the presence of the short-term (IgM) and the long-term (IgG) antibodies.

A positive IgM test can indicate you have recently been vaccinated and your immune system has started responding to the vaccination, while a positive IgG test may mean you have long-term antibodies to help prevent re-infection. 

It is important to get an antibody test, even after being vaccinated, for a number of reasons: It can show antibodies from the COVID-19 vaccine; it can show antibodies to determine if you had the virus in the past; or it can show a current infection of COVID-19. Data has shown that even if an individual is vaccinated, there is a small chance that they can still contract COVID-19 and spread it to others.

No insurance is necessary to take part in the testing event. Walk-ups are welcomed, but it is recommended to register by calling Addabbo’s office at 718-738-1111 to secure a spot. 

If community members need another incentive, Valhalla Medics will be providing free giveaways for all those who come to get the free antibody test.

“I would like to thank Valhalla Medics and their team for their continued partnership on these community events,” Addabbo added. “And I want to give a big thanks to the Woodhaven BID for joining with us. I hope to see many people come out to the Woodhaven BID to get tested as well.”

Photo courtesy of Addabbo’s office