HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- More than 20% of Texans may have COVID-19 antibodies, according to a scientific study done by UTHealth in Houston and The Texas Department of State Health Services.
Four months ago, researchers launched a study called the Texas Coronavirus Antibody Response Survey (Texas CARES). The survey is determining the proportion of the people throughout the state who have COVID-19 antibodies, indicating a past infection and presumably some degree of immune protection.
The preliminary data estimates that 14% to 24% of Texans have COVID-19 antibodies.
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"Knowing the number of people with antibodies who participated in Texas CARES, along with the number of vaccine recipients, permits public health officials to gauge Texas' progression toward herd immunity," said Eric Boerwinkle, the dean of UTHealth School of Public Health.
The team at UTHealth is comprised of experts across its six campuses including Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Brownsville, and El Paso.
Data from the population sample estimates that 27% of Hispanic Texans have COVID-19 antibodies, and Texans younger than 19 years of age make up 29% of those who have antibodies.
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"The Texas CARES study is cutting-edge science that will provide valuable information to enable Texas to formulate public health strategies that will ultimately defeat the pandemic," said commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services John Hellerstedt.
The assessment is still enrolling participants regardless of prior COVID-19 infection or vaccination. Texans between the ages of five and 80 can participate in Texas CARES by registering at TexasCARESProject.org or contacting the team at 713-500-9441.