Washington – While millions of COVID-19 home tests are still available, are they sufficient to screen Americans before the holidays?
The long lines for testing last year were eliminated thanks to almost a year’s worth of vaccinations, faster testing options, and increased supplies. However, many Americans are not vaccinated and some reports indicate that those who were vaccinated may have contracted the virus. Some people plan to run home tests to ensure additional protection.
Janis Alpine, a Seattle resident, is celebrating Thanksgiving with seven of her relatives, including her father (97 years old). Although everyone is vaccinated, she plans to bring enough Abbott’s rapid test kits for them to use.
The retired Alpine said, “I’m just use to testing now.” “Even if he’s vaccinated getting sick might not be the best option for a 97year-old man.”
After flying to Las Vegas for vacation, she started testing regularly in September. Because local pharmacies often sell test products, she typically finds five packs at once.
After weeks of shortages, Walgreens and CVS have indicated that they have sufficient supply. They have also recently raised the limit on how many purchases can be made at once after a few weeks. Test manufacturers have seen an increase in production thanks to more than $3Billion in new procurement contracts and government support. The average home test costs $10 and takes around 15 minutes.
Although things have improved, experts warn that winter surges can quickly overwhelm the supply, particularly in cases of holiday parties or cold weather that trigger new outbreaks.
Neil Segel is a University of Maryland expert in health policy. He said that “Unfortunately, it will still catch up next to demand before subsiding.”
White House officials stated that the United States will conduct around 200 million home inspections per month by December. That’s four times as many as this summer. Spot shortages are still a problem, particularly in areas and suburbs with high detection rates.