According to the latest data, there has been an uptick in the number of new COVID-19 cases recently, with rising hospital admissions. Unsurprisingly, this has meant that some people have experienced less success when it comes to finding at-home testing kits.
There are dozens of brands of antigen tests available and the FDA approved an at-home test earlier this year that can screen for both COVID-19 and winter flu. These tests are suitable for anyone with symptoms or who has been exposed to the virus. They test by taking a nasal swab at home, and they typically give accurate results after just a few minutes.
Because of the increase in the number of cases, manufacturers say that despite production running as normal, there has been a sudden surge in demand which is why some stores have sold out. A number of major pharmacies have also noticed higher sales of test kits.
In a statement, Walgreens said: “We have worked diligently to ensure we have enough supply to meet customers’ needs as we experience greater demand in this category nationwide.”
CVS said that it’s working to ensure supply continues, adding, “If individual stores experience a temporary product shortage, our teams have a process in place to replenish supply.”
Some manufacturers have said that they plan to increase production soon to make sure there are enough tests available over the winter.
Abbott, maker of the BinaxNow Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test, says “We’re working with retailers to ensure those tests are on shelves and available for consumers.” Other manufacturers, like ACON Labs’ Flowflex and QuidelOrtho’s QuickVue, have also said they plan to produce more.
So, despite higher demand, most health experts agree that consumers shouldn’t struggle to find testing kits this year. There are now more than 30 at-home test brands that are covered by the emergency use authorization, compared with just a handful at the start of the pandemic.