(WASHINGTON, D.C. ) — In the rush to get ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, as cases surge in the U.S. by 17 percent over the last week, the Food and Drug Administration is making it easier for Americans to obtain a critical way in finding out if they have contracted the virus or not.
Two more at-home rapid, non-prescription tests were authorized for over-the-counter purchase by the FDA, allowing the tests to now be sold in pharmacy or retail stores.
The approved at-home tests are BinaxNOW, a COVID-19 antigen self-test, and the Quick Vue test. A prescription is not needed to obtain either test.
The BinaxNOW test is expected to cost under $10 per test, and come in packs of two. Those who take it can expect results in 15 minutes. It requires a minimally invasive nasal swab.
Meanwhile, the Quick Vue test uses the standard nasal swab technique.
The FDA warned Americans that the tests are not 100 percent accurate, so some false positive or negative results may occur — especially when administered incorrectly.
The news comes as the Biden administration has launched an aggressive campaign to encourage every eligible American to obtain the vaccine.
The White House has appointed a grassroots campaign consisting of leaders from churches, unions and nonprofits to go into their local community and dispel vaccine misinformation — called the COVID-19 Community Corps.
The group is not only tasked to work through vaccine hesitancy, but to increase residents’ ability to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine.
The goal of the Community Corps is to help save lives, says U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.
COVID-19 has infected over 30.5 million Americans and killed more than 553,000, reports Johns Hopkins University.