A Simple Blood Test Could Reveal How Strong Your COVID Immunity Is

Whether or not you have been infected with COVID-19, a new study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology indicates that a newly developed blood test may be able to help your doctor determine how strong your immunity is against getting the disease. According to NBC News, it also doesn't matter how many vaccination or booster shots you have received, or if you are immunocompromised — the new test measures your immunity no matter your level of protection. 

The blood test focuses on the part of your immune system that "remembers" the virus and provides long-term protection against future COVID infection. For the test, which can be performed at a clinic, a small sample of your blood is taken and mixed with bits of proteins from the COVID virus to see if T cells activate. T cells are foundational components of your immune system with the ability to recognize the virus for potentially many years and can prevent serious illness. The hope is that the test will provide a better understanding of how immunity against COVID manifests among different people, according to Ernesto Guccione, an associate professor of oncological sciences and pharmacological sciences at the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai (via NBC News). It can also give individuals a more complete picture of their level of immune protection.

This is how you can better support your immune system

While health experts support getting vaccinated to help protect yourself against becoming infected with COVID, there are ways you may be able to give your immune system a boost. This can help you avoid becoming infected with COVID and also further protect yourself against other illnesses and diseases.

According to the Harvard Medical School, although more research is needed to confirm a direct link between lifestyle and immunity, choosing a healthier lifestyle likely has some effect on the immune system while providing other known health benefits. For instance, to give your immune system the best support possible, experts suggest eating more fruits and vegetables, refraining from smoking, engaging in a regular exercise routine, drinking alcohol in moderation or not at all, getting quality sleep, and maintaining a healthy weight. Also, washing your hands regularly is always going to be a good way to avoid infection.

However, beware of products in stores that advertise that they support immunity or boost your number of immune cells. There is no scientific evidence that supports these claims and consuming these products can lead to serious health issues.