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What led to the shortage of at-home COVID-19 tests? – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-09-13 09:56:47 –

President Biden’s new strategy to end the pandemic includes plans to explode production of rapid inspections at home and sell out quickly in stores and online.

The shortage is large enough to handle the surge in demand caused by concerns about delta variants of the disease and breakthrough infectious diseases among people vaccinated by the United States. This is the result of not being able to develop the market.

“It’s like trying to buy toilet paper at the beginning of a pandemic,” said David Perry, who bought the last two packs of Abbott’s Binax NOW test in Walgreens, North Oaks, Minnesota.

Home COVID testing is not only harder to find than in other countries, it is also expensive.

“It’s basically $ 50 a round for the family,” Perry said. “It’s the price I’m willing to pay, but it’s starting to add up soon.”

Healthcare professional testing is still widely available in places such as pharmacies, clinics, and drive-through clinics, but it has become more difficult to find appointments in the last few weeks. The deficiency is affecting self-testing at home, which provides results in minutes. CVS limits the number of customers that can purchase at one time. The brand is backordered on Amazon.

This is in contrast to other countries where many self-tests are still available.

Seven quick tests are available daily for UK residents. Each Israeli kindergarten child took a free home exam before the first day of school. And David Peck sent a photo of a trash can full of tests marked down at a German grocery store.

Five boxes under € 4, affordable enough for Peck to screen himself daily from his home in Spain. Less than 1 euro per test.

“It’s like brushing your teeth in the morning,” Peck said. “You do a COVID test, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and eat breakfast.”

The United States has never opened up a strong market for over-the-counter COVID testing, but federal health officials have long stated that they are important.

“A quick home test that allows you to return to normal activities such as work or school,” said Tim Manning, supply coordinator for the White House’s COVID-19 response team, at a media briefing on February 5. rice field.

Sara Citrenbaum, a research specialist at, an all-volunteer group promoting rapid testing as a tool to combat the coronavirus, said: “Last year we couldn’t convince a place for our lives to actually use these tests.”

Other countries have flooded the market by encouraging frequent COVID screening, including asymptomatic people, and buying billions of home kits at low prices.

The US public health message focuses on vaccination, not testing. Home demand fell further in the spring after the CDC said that fully vaccinated people would not need testing unless exposed to someone confirmed to be suspected of having COVID-19.

“The United States has never really accepted the idea of ​​an asymptomatic test,” said Citrenbaum.

By May, many Americans are planning to return to normal summer, and Abbott had a surplus of 15 minutes of Binax NOW testing.

The company has fired employees and has begun disposing of test components that the company said have expired.

European countries were still buying self-tests, so when delta variants inflated infection rates, screening kits were as easy to find as pregnancy tests and are still plentiful today.

“It’s really comfortable,” Peck said. “It’s the only way to reduce risk.”

Many of the leading manufacturers selling abroad lack FDA approval to provide testing here and cannot help close the supply gap.

President Biden announced on Thursday plans to send millions of quick tests to community centers and food banks for free.

Wal-Mart, Amazon and Kroger have agreed to sell the test for a fee over the next three months to lower prices.

However, manufacturers say it takes time to build a supply.

In a statement, Abbott said, “We are recovering … hire people and turn on idle or slowed parts of the manufacturing network …”

Test maker Ellume says demand has skyrocketed by 900% over the past month. An Australian company is building a triple production plant in Frederick, Maryland, but will not be online until the end of the year.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could all get this test,” Perry said.

That hope is already a reality outside the United States

What led to the shortage of at-home COVID-19 tests? Source link What led to the shortage of at-home COVID-19 tests?

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