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Surging Demand for Over-the-counter (OTC) at-home SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Tests

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, surging demand for over-the-counter (OTC) at-home SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests, as well as point-of-care rapid tests—driven by requirements for unvaccinated employees to undergo weekly testing and parents’ need to test schoolchildren—is squeezing the US supply and driving up costs. In a move aimed at scaling up availability of at-home rapid tests, the US White House this week announced it will purchase an additional US$1 billion worth of the tests in order to quadruple the number of tests available in the US by December. The move follows a previous US$2 billion investment announced in September meant to supply rapid tests to community health centers, food banks, and schools. Expanding access to testing is part of US President Joe Biden’s 6-pronged COVID-19 action plan announced September 9. Lack of access to testing in the US could be contributing to the virus’s spread, as government-subsidized rapid testing is widely available in several other countries—including Britain, France, and Germany—making it easier for people to determine whether they are infected after a known exposure or when experiencing symptoms.

Additionally, the US Department of Defense announced it has awarded 6 contracts worth US$2.78 billion to purchase 150 million at-home and 400 million point-of-care COVID-19 test kits to supply health centers, nursing homes, colleges and universities, and other outlets. On October 4, the US FDA authorized the use of ACON Laboratories’ Flowflex COVID-19 Home Test, a rapid antigen test that shows results within 15 minutes and retails for less than US$10. The test—the eighth rapid test available in the US—will help increase the availability of at-home tests, a White House official said. Also this week, Australian company Ellume recalled nearly 200,000 of its test kits over concerns they have a higher-than-expected false-positive rate. Overall, about 427,000 test kits were affected by the problem, including some provided to the Department of Defense, but about half of those were already used.

 

One thought on “Surging Demand for Over-the-counter (OTC) at-home SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Tests

  1. Make that $$$$$
    Keep up the COVID fear!

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