New Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Rapid Tests Rolling Out With No Prescription Required

Tara C. Mahadevan
·2 min read

Image via Getty/NurPhoto

There soon will be two more over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 tests available for home use.

The Associated Press reports that the FDA has authorized the inexpensive home tests, which have been scarcely available since the pandemic’s outset. This news arrives as experts worry that spring breakers across the country will boost the spread of the more infectious virus variants.

Per the report, Abbott’s BinaxNow and Quidel’s QuickVue tests will be sold without a prescription. These tests have been available but restricted for use by those who exhibit symptoms. The home tests come with a nasal swab and test strip, with results ready within 10 to 20 minutes.

Abbott said its home kit will have a price in the “single digits” per test, and will arrive at pharmacies, grocery stores, and elsewhere in the “coming weeks.” The company can manufacture around 50 million tests per month. Similar information from Quidel wasn’t available.

The two companies will sell the tests in two packs since false results can occur. Children two years and older can also take the tests.

“Vaccines are incredibly important but they are not the end-all, be-all to this pandemic,” Dr. Michael Mina of Harvard told AP. “We need other tools in our arsenal and the widespread availability and rapid scale up of tests for people to use in the privacy of their homes is going to be an extraordinary gain.”

Recently, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber declared a state of emergency after tourists arrived at the city in hoards. He imposed an 8 p.m. curfew and filtered traffic heading to the shore.

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