Abbott Laboratories Plans To Release Over-The-Counter COVID-19 Rapid Tests To Pharmacies This Week

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It looks like coronavirus test kits will soon be easy to access by the public. As revealed today, store shelves at pharmacies throughout the United States will soon be stocked with affordable, quick, at-home test kits for the coronavirus. 

On Monday, Abbott Laboratories started shipping a rapid COVID test kit called BinaxNOW to major pharmaceutical chains to be sold over the counter. The stores that will start selling these two-count packs for $23.99 include Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart. 

The distribution of these at-home test kits comes after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave BinaxNOW an Emergency Use Authorization at the end of March. These tests can be administered on children as young as 2 years old. Samples can be collected by adults and for everyone aged 15 or older. 

According to Abbott, the test can be taken even if symptoms are absent. The best part about the at-home test is that it can deliver results in just 15 minutes. 

Abbott says they are capable of manufacturing tens of millions of these Self Tests every month. And depending on demand, they can further scale capacity.

The pharmaceutical company is ready to work with retailers so they can prioritize the distribution of these tests to areas of the country where there is an upsurge of cases.  

In the past year alone, the company was able to develop high-quality rapid testing and even invested in facilities to scale up manufacturing. This way, affordable testing can be made available to the masses. 

Right now, there are other over-the-counter rapid antigen tests that are available in the market. With BinaxNOW, this will be able to meet the demand for it at a time like this.  

BinaxNOW “is a major advance over what has been available,” says Dr. Michael Mina Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s assistant professor of epidemiology.