New hurdle for COVID-19 home testing – the holiday season | Government and Politics
By MATTHEW PERRONE Health Editor AP
WASHINGTON (AP) – Millions of more home tests for COVID-19 are coming to stores, but will there be enough for Americans hoping to get tested before holiday gatherings?
No more long lines last year to get tested, thanks to nearly a year of vaccinations, increased testing supplies and faster options. But with many Americans unvaccinated and reports of infections among those who have received the vaccines, some are looking to home testing for an extra layer of protection ahead of this year’s festivities.
Janis Alpine from Seattle reunites with seven parents for Thanksgiving, including her 97-year-old father. While everyone is vaccinated, she plans to bring enough Abbott rapid tests for them to use.
âI’m just used to testing now,â said Alpine, who is retired. “Even if he’s vaccinated, getting a little sick is probably not the best thing for a 97-year-old man.”
She began testing herself regularly in September after flying to Las Vegas and the East Coast for vacation. Because local pharmacies sometimes sell tests, she usually buys five packs at a time when she finds them.
After shortage weeks, chains like CVS and Walgreens now say they have sufficient supplies and recently lifted limits on the number of products that can be purchased at one time. The change comes after test makers ramped up production, spurred by more than $ 3 billion in new purchase contracts and government aid. Home tests typically cost over $ 10 each and take about 15 minutes.