Good news for Aussies, at-home COVID-19 tests coming soon

Highlights

  • The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has recommended that home tests for COVID-19 will be available in Australia from 1 November 2021.
  • The use of COVID-19 rapid antigen self-tests is a part of Australia’s strategy to combat the pandemic.
  • The TGA has already obtained dozens of applications for the import and sell of various rapid antigen tests.

Good news for Australians as they will be able to take COVID-19 test at home from 1 November 2021. The Australian regulator Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has advised that a home rapid antigen test for COVID-19 will be available in the country from 1 November 2021, subject to individual tests being approved as safe and effective. The test kits will be available at pharmacies or online.

Moreover, the rapid antigen tests are already used in several settings, like aged care homes, large workplaces as well as in some quarantine facilities. The Australian Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, had suggested that there are indications that the rapid antigen tests for testing COVID-19 for at-home use could be approved this year. The use of COVID-19 rapid antigen self-tests is one part of the country’s strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED READ: How long will COVID-19 pandemic last? Will it continue into 2022?

Home test kit for COVID-19 will be available from 1 November in Australia

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What is Rapid Antigen test?

The rapid antigen test for COVID-19 is used to detect the presence of specific proteins of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus in symptomatic patients. The test can be performed by healthcare professionals outside of a laboratory and may give a result within 15-30 minutes.  

Generally, rapid antigen tests provide the best results within the initial five to seven days from the time the symptoms appear. As of now, these tests are not intended for home testing and are designed to be used by trained healthcare professionals (HCPs) or laboratory scientists.

RELATED READ: What is Rapid Antigen Testing? All you should know about it

However, the Australian regulator is making some efforts and working actively with a range of companies that would permit the provision of using these rapid antigen tests at home in the future.

Rapid antigen test market is set to witness growth

The rapid antigen tests generally give results in 15 minutes, and till now these tests have been performed mainly in aged care facilities, big workplaces, and sensitive health settings because of the need of healthcare professionals to perform the test.

But after the TGA disclosed that these tests could be available for home use for Australians from 1 November 2021, the market is set to surge. With such a significant market move, the TGA has already obtained dozens of applications to import and market various types of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests.

Bottom Line

Rapid antigen test for at-home testing of COVID-19 will be available in Australia from November 2021, as the country moves to the next phase of managing COVID-19. Furthermore, the introduction of home testing for the detection of COVID-19 may also open the way for home testing for other infectious indications.

ALSO READ: How is Australia faring on the vaccination front?

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